David Hale Obituary

David Hale, my father, dedicated his life to imparting knowledge of mathematics. He began his career in 1959 at Thomas Bennett School in Crawley, Sussex, which had newly opened at the time. He remained loyal to state education throughout his professional journey. After teaching mathematics for a few years in Crawley, he moved to Glossop School in Derbyshire, where he served as head of mathematics. During this time, he also fulfilled the role of area president of the National Union of Teachers and was actively involved in the local Labour party. In 1970, he joined Nottingham University as a teacher training lectureship position. He discovered new opportunities to inspire school students in mathematics, as slide rules and log tables gave way to calculators.

In 1976, David commenced his journey as a general inspector for HM Schools Inspectorate. He also served as a specialist mathematics inspector responsible for several regions across the United Kingdom, including Cleveland, County Durham, North Yorkshire, and Cumbria. David coordinated and undertook outdoor education inspection nationwide. Despite retiring from the inspectorate in 1996, he stayed connected with the education industry and taught courses at Durham University for undergraduate students considering teaching mathematics.

David was born in Hackney, north London, and his parents were Sidney, a machine fitter for railways, and Olive (nee Moxey), a housewife. David first attended Royal Liberty School in Romford, Essex, followed by two years of national service with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. He went on to study mathematics at Selwyn College, Cambridge, and without a break, he dived into teaching in 1959. David and Elizabeth Markham, a secretary whom he had befriended when they attended school together in Romford, got married that same year.

David’s love for trains grew from his father’s employment in the industry, and it remained with him throughout his life. He was also an avid runner, and he developed his passion for running during his national service in Germany, which granted him a free pass from morning inspections. He continued to run in Nottingham during the 1970s, and he discovered that orienteering was the perfect sport for a running mathematician, as it combined physical and intellectual challenges. Before long, he began organising walking trips for school students. He even coached young people in orienteering. David was a loyal member of the Labour party, and he only resigned from the party when the government took Britain to war in Iraq in 2003.

Sadly, Elizabeth passed away in 2008, and David is survived by his two children, Gillian and myself, as well as three grandchildren.


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