White, starched lab coat marked out ‘Sir’ at Oxford school

Arthur Fisher

Arthur Fisher

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering North Oxford, Jericho and Summertown. Call me on 01865 425498

A FORMER deputy headteacher whose career lasted 31 years has died aged 98.

Arthur Fisher was a physics teacher who worked at New Hinksey School, Cowley St John School and Bayswater Middle School, Barton.

He was also an active volunteer with the Scouts, the PDSA (People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals) and later St Michael at the North Gate Church, in Oxford.

Arthur Robert Fisher was born in Rayleigh, Essex, in 1915, to parents Ethel and Albert, and grew up in Deptford, London. He attended a grammar school in central London as a boy and after leaving joined the RAF in 1939.

During the Second World War he was stationed in Delhi and taught Indian servicemen how to fly and also how to repair and put out fires on planes.

After returning to England he met his future wife, Stella (nee Smart) at a village dance in Botley and they were later married in Wolvercote on November 22, 1945.

The couple moved into their family home in Sweetmans Road, Botley, where Mrs Fisher still lives to this day.

They had their first child, Janet, in 1946, followed by Nigel in 1948. Mr Fisher took a job at North Hinksey School in 1949.

He joined Cowley St John School, in Cowley, in 1958 and it was there he devised many experiments with his own apparatus, for lessons in electrical physics for his students.

His passion was also pure mathematics and it was a subject, as well as technical drawing, that he taught to many senior pupils.

During the 1960s he also worked at Wingfield Hospital School, part of the Nuffield Orthopedic Centre, during the summer holidays.

In 1968 he joined the newly formed Bayswater Middle School, where he became known to pupils for his white, starched lab coat. There he continued to mentor many pupils in the sciences who would go on to further careers in the subject.

Mr Fisher was awarded the long service award by Oxfordshire County Council in 1979 and by 1980 had retired and was giving tours around Oxford and its colleges.

From 1994 he also worked and volunteered at St Michael at the North Gate Church in Oxford.

His interests included classical music, as well as Scottish band music. He also played an active part in the local branch of the PDSA and in his later years participated in the ultimately successful Save Botley Library campaign.

Arthur Fisher passed away in the Isis Care Home, Oxford, on July 5, following illness caused by a heart condition. He is survived by his wife, his daughter, two grandchildren and three great-grandchilden. His son Nigel pre-deceased him in 2009.

A funeral will take place on Tuesday, July 29 at 12.15pm, at Oxford Crematorium. All are welcome.

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