From Martin Read - Class of '79

Dear Keith (if I may

I just discovered your interesting website, and was delighted to see a couple of letters from Mr Wareing. I was one of "Jap's" last students, taking my 'O' Level Geography in '77 and 'A' Level in '79. I have since regretted that after my A level results I didn't return to the school to see him, I was a diffident teenager and reserved to an almost pathological extent. I enjoyed being taught by Mr Wareing and respected the way he didn't talk down to his students whilst maintaining the necessary distance between teacher and student. I remember that in his first lesson with us he wrote his name on the board and asserted that his middle initial stood for “Frankenstein.” I was aware that he was dissatisfied with the way the school had developed in recent years, not to mention the shoddy nature of contemporary British-built cars!

Following my A levels I took a degree in Zoology (with subsidiary Geology - for which my Geography was very useful) and ended up spending over two decades, plus gaining a research degree, working as a researcher in the cell and molecular biology of malaria parasites, at UMIST and latterly the University of Manchester. I still work at the university but have very recently changed to a more managerial and less research-based role.

I always wanted to express my gratitude to Mr Wareing for his teaching of me, and I hope that my good results in Geography gave him some satisfaction.

My apologies for contacting you in this way but I would be very much obliged if you would be kind enough to pass on my best wishes (and the contents of this message - if you would) to Mr Wareing.

I remember a number of the "Old Guard" of teachers at Hathershaw, Mr Hodgson was my form tutor, though I wasn't taught by him, Kenny Wright took us through 'O' Level Eng. Lit. in a single year, and I was taught 'A' Level Biology by George Barlow. I ended up going to the same university that he had, though he took Botany, and I was always more interested in animals. The Biology lab. always had a peculiar smell about it, no doubt connected with the many jars of pickled rats, mice and locusts stored in the stockroom - I once helped decant some of them. There was a gas explosion which was ingnited by a fridge in the stockroom (1976) it blew out an external wall and caused other damage, and even after the extensive rebuilding and redecoration of the lab. the smell remained unaffected.

Sincere regards,

PS My cohort from Hathershaw had a reunion a number of years ago (2004 - I think) which was very enjoyable, even if the hangover the day after wasn't.
However, it didn't leave a legacy like your website.

Thanks once again,

Martin Read
Research Associate
Molecular Biotechnology Group
University of Manchester