'You changed the lives of untold people' - tributes paid to former Hazelwick teacher and long-serving choir member at Worth church

Tributes have poured in for former Hazelwick teacher David Price, who has passed away aged 67.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 4:00 pm
The picture of David is from January 2020. One of the ladies of the Church had made new costumes to sing “We Three Kings” for Epiphany at St Nicholas.
Picture by Mark Harrison
The picture of David is from January 2020. One of the ladies of the Church had made new costumes to sing “We Three Kings” for Epiphany at St Nicholas. Picture by Mark Harrison

Mr Price was a hugely popular teacher and was well known throughout the town. He is also a long-serving choir member St Nicholas’ Church in Worth.

Nathan Neal emailed the Crawley Observer a letter Mr Price had sent him which detailed what he had been doing since his retirement. It said: "I left Hazelwick in 2002 having been one of the deputies for 12 years and then worked in senior management roles in three international schools in the UAE and Jordan before retiring back to my house in Turners Hill, where I have been for the last six years. I did lots of travel in the Middle East while I was there including a few adventurous destinations. I keep myself busy (usually) playing the violin, singing and doing the sort of things us ‘oldies’ do.

"In my retirement, I am doing some work for Cambridge International as an international inspector, which is fabulous, as it combines my love of travel with a long career in education. They have sent me to places like China, India(x2), Namibia, Lesotho, the Bahamas, Kenya, Tanzania, Turkey, Ukraine, Pakistan, Bangladesh and a few places in the UK and Europe. Have been to Chile, New Zealand, Myanmar for holidays since retiring and of course Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands - it just had to be done!

David Price in 1984 on a Geology A level field trip to the Malverns - picture courtesy of Nathan Neal

"Love penguins, they are so cute! Wings are a bit clipped at the moment of course, and my inspection tour to the Philippines and Cambodia has been cancelled. However, I am discovering the footpaths of Turners Hill - about time too!"

Mr Neal added: "I am really saddened by his death as I was really looking forward to catching up with him again over a beer or two - which he loved!

"He was such a kind and generous man and he will be very sorely missed - we had many a laugh together - I even passed out at his house on my stag do in 1991! He was fine about that too."

The Worth Parish Facebook page posted: "It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of David Price, a long-serving choir member and lay intercessor at St Nicholas’. Rest in peace, David."

David Price about to help throw Nathan Neal into a river David Price in 1984 on a Geology A level field trip to the Malverns - picture courtesy of Nathan Neal

That post was also shared on the Pound Hill Residents' Facebook page and tributes poured in with great memories of 'the best teacher ever'.

Marion Sandwell said: "Goodness that is sad news. He was my form teacher at Hazelwick and one of my sisters had David for Geography. My Dad sang with him in the choir at Worth. RIP David, you’ve touched many lives, you’ll be missed by many."

Jan Lane said: "Very sad news, Mr Price was my favourite teacher and most inspirational teacher, his enthusiasm for geography and geology rubbed off and has stayed with me. A lovely man. RIP Mr Price xx"

Kate Sullivan posted: "He was always a joy to sing with in the choir. David had such a lovely manner and will be sorely missed."

Maxine Palmer was full of praise of Mr Price. She said: "He was a truly great teacher who cared about he s job and cared even more about he s students was my tutor at Hazelwick back in 1983 and was a lovely caring man x"

Fay Margo said: "Sad news - RIP David Price. He was deputy head at Hazelwick when I was there. And conducted school orchestra (I once got the giggles sitting in the front row in a concert and couldn’t play my clarinet properly I was laughing so much... sorry David). So sorry to hear this news."

Dave Chase said: "Such very sad news. A fantastic teacher, who inspired so many. He made learning enjoyable! It was a pleasure to have known you David, we will all miss you greatly. Rest in peace xx"

Peter Lloyd-Brown posted this lovely tribute. He said: "Very sad to hear this. I’ve got to say there are genuine turning points in your life that stick with you - standing in the sixth form subject choices fair at Hazelwick School in 1988 trying to decide what my last A level should be and a super enthusiastic Mr Price convinced me to choose Geology, a subject I had not even considered.

"That moment has always stood out in my mind and directly led to an amazing learning experience at school, taking Geology to postgrad level at university (where I met my wife) and then a job as a Geophysicist. Thank you David and rest in peace. You changed the lives of untold people me included."

Andy Hoare simply posted: "The best teacher ever, such sad news."

Wendy Cooper said: "I knew David well as an enthusiastic musician, loyal colleague and good friend. He will be sadly missed."

Ian Church was another to praise Mr Price. He said: "David Price was a great Teacher who had the complete interest of the pupils at heart and went beyond just being a basic Teacher. He also organised fund raising evenings with the parents to sponsor Geology trips to Iceland and other places for his charges during my sons time at Hazelwick in the 1980's.

"It is a tribute to him that many of his pupils held him in such high esteem that they continued meeting with him as a group socially after they had left school and this had continued to the present time. David you will be sadly missed RIP."