Obituary: Brian Harrison

Posted by rmt22 at Oct 24, 2018 11:05 AM |
We were saddened to hear of the passing of Brian Harrison, who worked in our School of Education some years ago.

Brian Harrison, who died on 8 October was appointed as Lecturer in Education at the University of Leicester in 1969.

Brian was born in the Lake District. His father worked in the quarries, and the family lived in the village of Threlkald that nestles under Blencathra.

He attended Keswick High School, from where in 1952, he won a scholarship to Keble College Oxford, reading Modern Languages. Not many working class lads went to Oxford then – sadly few do today.

In 1956, Brian did his two years National Service in Egypt during the time of the Suez crisis. After working for Schweppes for two years, he won a British Council Scholarship to study Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL) and followed, in 1961 a PGCE Course at London Institute of Education.

Brian’s postings were first, in 1962 to Morocco and then, in 1965 to Hyderabad, India where he was responsible for the training of teachers of English at the Central Institute.

On returning to Britain Brian took a post at Keighley College before being appointed in 1969 to the post of Lecturer in Education in the School of Education at Leicester University. During his time in Leicester he developed an innovative, and always over-subscribed PGCE course for TESOL, where the students went to Spain or Majorca for their teaching practices. He was also instrumental in developing a successful Diploma course for English teachers from The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and an MA in Applied Linguistics. The books he wrote on Language Teaching are well used in Asia today.

Following his early retirement Brian, who was always very community minded, wanted to give something back. He taught as a Scale 1 teacher at a Comprehensive School in the city; ran Literacy courses for Asian women and courses for GPs and hospital doctors, enabling them to use simple language in order to help with diagnoses.

In 2005, he went to live in Patagonia, Argentina, where he taught English to local people and wrote a book on the exploits of Charles Darwin in South America.

Having been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, he returned to UK in 2014. Brian leaves five children; one son predeceased him, and four grandchildren.

His funeral is at The Great Glen Crematorium on 5 November at 11.30am.

Written by David Tomley a former colleague and friend.

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