May 25 2013 Latest news:
By Ross Logan , Reporter
Sunday, May 13, 2012
A POPULAR and well-loved former maths teacher, described by colleagues as a “one-off”, has died.
Tom Beldon, from Blakemere Road, WGC, was a former head of mathematics at WGC Grammar School – later re-named Stanborough School.
He died on Wednesday April 18, aged 96.
This week, ex-colleague Fred Aicken, who worked as a science teacher at the school with Mr Beldon, paid tribute to him.
“In his long career he inspired many a budding mathematician to aim at heights far above demands of A-Level,” Mr Aicken said.
“He had a wide circle of friends, most of them people he could talk mathematics with.
“I shall miss our regular meetings. And I know that many others, who knew him as a friend or as a teacher more than thirty years ago, will remember him with affection.
“He was, as they say, a one-off.”
Born in 1915 in Dovercourt, Essex, Mr Beldon was a keen mathematician from an early age, becoming an accountant after leaving school.
When World War Two broke out in 1939, he joined the Army Pay Corps and was made a captain. He spent time in North Africa and southern Europe during the conflict, before returning to London to complete a maths degree.
He joined WGC Grammar School in Lemsford Lane, WGC, in 1957.
Mr Aicken, who joined the school in 1960, said: “He was a law unto himself in the classroom.
“But he was unable to destroy the popular belief that maths is not for girls – or for many boys. At times, even he seemed to accept the myth about born mathematicians.
“Once I dared point out that since the country was both woefully ignorant of maths and science, the sensible policy would be to make both subjects compulsory at higher levels, if only to emphasise their importance.
“He didn’t agree.
“He wanted more mathematicians, even if they couldn’t communicate with ordinary mortals.”
Following his retirement, Mr Beldon joined the Dystonia Society, a charity providing support for people affected by the neurological movement disorder.