Our picture of children at Bayswater Middle School in Oxford handing over a cheque struck a chord with reader Dennis Queralt.

Among the throng of pupils was retired school teacher Arthur Fisher, who had inspired him to a lifelong interest in science.

Mr Fisher is seen above receiving a cheque for £28 for the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) from pupil Alison Greenway, 13, in 1984.

Mr Queralt, of Appleford Drive, Abingdon, writes: “It was a wonderful surprise to see the photograph of Arthur Fisher.

“I remember him from my school days at Cowley St John School on the corner of Princes Street and Cowley Road in Oxford. He taught science and technical drawing.

Oxford Mail:

“As a science teacher, he was inspiring, hard working and fostered the interest of several pupils in my class who showed an interest in the subject.

“On a few occasions, I remember he went out of his way to give us chemicals to help towards doing a few experiments at home!

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“Although I did not choose science as a career, I have had a lifelong interest in the subject thanks to Arthur.

“As a teacher, he was, to use an old cliche, ‘firm but fair’ – exactly the right approach in a school which (a) was an all boys’ school and (b) had a difficult catchment area with large numbers of children from under-privileged backgrounds (I include myself in that category).

“Indeed, it must have felt like missionary work sometimes!”

After retiring from teaching, Mr Fisher took charge of a group of volunteers whose mission was to restore the PDSA and help animals in Oxford.

As we recalled (Memory Lane, July 5), the charity had closed its treatment centre in Cowley Road.

Pupils in Class 3T at Bayswater Middle School at Headington heard of the charity’s difficulties and collected money to support it.

Mr Fisher told them that the money would go into a fund and pets would be treated by a vet who would be paid by the PDSA.

He added: “We would be delighted if we could raise enough for a treatment centre, but the best we can hope for is to find premises for a gift shop to help with fundraising.”

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Father Benson opened Cowley St John School, where Mr Fisher taught, for boys and girls in 1867 in a wooden hut on the corner of Princes Street and Cowley Road.

It was replaced in 1871 by a permanent building catering for boys and remained a boys’ school until it became a community centre well into the 20th century.

The girls’ school was on the opposite side of Cowley Road, between Marston Street and James Street.

Founded in 1917 by animal welfare pioneer, Maria Dickin CBE, the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals is the UK’s leading veterinary charity.

Operating through a UK-wide network of 48 Pet Hospitals, the PDSA provides low cost and free veterinary care to the sick and injured pets of people in need and promotes responsible pet ownership.

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For more information visit the website pdsa.org.uk.