Tributes to teacher who ‘inspired a generation’

Glyn Turner SUS-170626-115419001
Glyn Turner SUS-170626-115419001

Tributes are being paid to a devoted teacher who inspired a generation of children.

Glyn Turner taught at Harlands Primary School in Haywards Heath for more than 35 years before retiring in 2006. And former colleagues and pupils were among those who attended his funeral at the Surrey and Sussex Crematorium on June 21.

Glyn, 74, was born in Southport. As a young man his parents wanted him to be a doctor and he trained for three years in Liverpool before dropping out of medical school after deciding it wasn’t his vocation.

He went on to undertake pharmaceutical research and dabbled in teaching before undergoing formal teacher training in Brighton. “He absolutely loved teaching,” said wife Judy. “He just understood what children wanted and what made them laugh and what gave them confidence.”

Glyn’s first teaching post was at Lindfield Primary School but it was not long before he moved to Harlands School in Haywards Heath where he met his future wife Judy who also taught there.

And it was there that Glyn’s passion for his work rubbed off on his pupils with many being inspired to develop lifelong loves of science, drama and sport.

A keen sportsman himself - “he was cricket mad” - said Judy, he inspired youngsters to numerous sporting successes. He was also an area representative of Sussex County Cricket Club.

Former colleagues and staff paid tribute to Glyn on Harland Primary School’s website with one writing how he had inspired, educated and entertained “an entire generation of Harlands’ pupils, parents and colleagues.

“For many, his name will be synonymous with the sporting success of the school but his contribution was far greater. He was able to inject humour into nearly all classroom situations, whilst still ensuring that academic progress and a positive work-ethic were foremost in the minds of all his pupils; a really tricky thing for any teacher to achieve. As a consequence, his classes achieved great academic success year-on-year.”

And a former pupil added: “Thank you for being one of the best teachers I’ve ever had.”

And, in line with Glyn’s character, his funeral was an upbeat affair. He was brought into the crematorium to the sound of rock ‘n’ roll’s Eddie Cochrane singing ‘C’mon Everybody.’ And, as the service ended, he was accompanied out to Queen’s ‘We Are The Champions’ - frequently sung at school as his teams chalked up yet another success.

Glyn leaves his wife Judy, his brother, three children and five grandchildren.