Tributes paid to first headteacher

TRIBUTES have been paid to the first headteacher of Frederick Gent School, in South Normanton, who has died after a long illness.

Trevor Bellamy, of The Common, South Normanton, died at a nursing home in Hertfordshire, near to his daughter and family, aged 91.

Born in South Wales in 1919, he was a member of a non-combative Pioneer regiment in World War Two that built roads and bridges and prepared the way for the infantry. During clear-up work after bombing in Coventry in 1942, he contracted pneumonia and was afterwards obliged to take life-long care of his heart and lungs. But this did not stop him from actively pursuing outdoor activities when he was at Frederick Gent.

After the war, Mr Bellamy returned to Cardiff University, qualified as a teacher and married childhood sweetheart Megan Williams. He taught English at Swanwick Grammar school until 1957, and took an active role in the school’s music, drama, sport, debating society and photographic club. In 1953, he helped arrange for a television to be hired in a local hall so that the villagers could watch the Coronation.

Mr Bellamy became headteacher of Frederick Gent School, when it opened in 1959, scrubbing the floor the night before it opened. He held musical assemblies, regular concerts and Christmas pantomimes, and also ran a brass band. Mr Bellamy regularly took pupils walking, climbing, canoeing and sailing and was a member of the Midland Association of Mountaineers.

A man of many interests, Mr Bellamy was a great reader, walked weekly in the Peak District for long distances and learned about the history, geography and architecture of the area. Mrs Bellamy died in 1989. Mr Bellamy leaves one married daughter and three grandchildren, who are now in their late 20s, and one great-granddaughter. There will be a memorial service in Zion Methodist Church, South Normanton, on June 19 at 3pm.