Tribute to former Keighley headmaster

Keith Whalley, pictured the year he retired from Highfield School

Keith Whalley, pictured the year he retired from Highfield School

First published in News
Last updated

TRIBUTE has been paid to a former Keighley headmaster who has died aged 85.

Keith Whalley held the top post at the old Highfield School for 12 years, until his retirement in 1988.

"He will be well remembered as being involved in many trips to Humphrey Head camp as well as for trips abroad by the school," said former pupil David Kirkley.

"The church was packed for his funeral service and there were hundreds of tributes to Keith on social media, highlighting the affection and inspiration he had for hundreds of Keighley's school children.

"If anyone could be called 'Mr Highfield School' it was Keith."

Mr Whalley had attended the school as a pupil in the 1930s before going on to Keighley Boys' Grammar, where he excelled both academically and in many sports.

He then studied at university, in Nottingham and Leeds, before completing two years' national service.

His teaching career began at Silsden Secondary Modern in 1953, where he was in charge of physical education and games.

Mr Whalley moved to Highfield School, where his wife Edith was a teacher, seven years later as head of history.

He became deputy headmaster in 1973 and then acting head, before being formally appointed to the role.

Mr Whalley played rugby union for Keighley in the 1950s and continued to watch the team, and enjoyed orienteering, once finishing second in the British championships.

He was a member of All Saints Church in Keighley, where his funeral service took place, the Retired Men's Forum and Keighley Boys' Grammar Former Scholars Association.

Mr Whalley is survived by his wife, a daughter Christine and two grandchildren.

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