|10 Aug 2021|
MEJ (MICHAEL) SKINNER (1944-52)
Michael Skinner died at his home in Harlow, Essex, on 29th July 2021.
He was born at Leigh in 1933 and attended the Chiddingstone Causeway Village School, winning a scholarship to enter Judd’s form 1A in September 1944 as the V1 campaign ended and the V2 campaign began.
His contemporaries at Judd will remember his portrayal of clerical characters in school plays, particularly “The Bishop’s Candlesticks” (1948). They will also recall his hilarious mimicry of our teachers (“You don’t do that at home, do you? Or DO YOU?” in the nasal tones of ‘Pansy’ Friend), which disrupted private study periods and made the Prefects’ Room a place of entertainment.
Mature for his years in appearance and demeanour, he was occasionally mistaken by visitors for one of the teaching staff and his disinclination to disabuse them caused embarrassment – on their part, not his.
After National Service in the Royal Air Force, during which he learnt Russian and was commissioned, Michael went up to Emmanuel College, Cambridge to read Russian and French. He entered the teaching profession and taught foreign languages, first at Bromley and then at Latton Bush School, Harlow, from which he retired as head of department (who mimicked him?).
Michael played the church organ from his teens onwards and was for some years the organist at a Harlow church.
In retirement he wrote a number of books and magazine articles, most of them recording life in rural Kent in the 1930s and 40s.
His wife, Jennifer, predeceased him and he is survived by two sons and a daughter.
Ian Hollands (1942-52)
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