Norman Haworth

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Lt Col
Norman Owen Haworth
Nicknames Spiny (Norman), Boris, Smiley
Born 28 August 1920(1920-08-28)
Died 1 October 1978(1978-10-01) (aged 58)
Pilgrim Hospital, Boston
Cause of death Heart attack
Education Burnley Grammar School (1932-1937); TC, Borough Road College, Isleworth (1938-1940); London (BSc 1953)
Years at BGS 1955-1978
Departments Mathematics
Subjects Mathematics
Notable work(s) CCF (Army Section), Contingent Commander
Spouse Margaret Haworth
Children Margaret

Norman Owen Haworth was a teacher of Mathematics at Boston Grammar School from 1955 to 1978.

Before BGS

He was educated at Burnley Grammar School (1932-1937). TC, Borough Road College, Isleworth; BSc, London. He was a Major with GHQ 21st Army Group and was present at Luneberg Heath when Field Marshall Montgomery accepted the German Surrender. He taught at Greaves' County Secondary School, Lancaster.

While at BGS

He was involved with the CCF (Army Section) and was Contingent Commander. He was "Major NO Haworth" before gaining the title Lt Col. He was a Boston Borough Councillor for 5 years, Secretary of the Ratepayers' Association, President of Royal British Legion, Boston Branch and husband of Margaret Haworth, Boston's first lady Mayor. He died in 1978 while still in service with the school.


Haworth's nickname "Spiny" or "Spiny Norman" derives from a character in a Monty Python sketch, Piranha Brothers. The character, Spiny Norman, was an apparently imaginary gigantic hedgehog.


From the 1978 issue of The Bostonian

The school was shocked and saddened by the news that Mr Haworth had died in Pilgrim Hospital on 1st October 1978 following a heart attack.

Norman Owen Haworth was born on 28th August 1920, and after attending Burnley Grammar School from 1932 to 1937, and spending a year as a student teacher, he trained as a teacher at Borough Road College, Isleworth, from 1938 to 1940.

He joined the Army in 1940 and was commissioned into the Royal Artillery three years later, joining the First Airborne Division. A year later he joined GHQ 21st Army Group as a trainee staff officer, being appointed staff Captain in 1945 and Major a year later. He was at Luneberg Heath when Field-Marshall Montgomery accepted the German surrender.

After demobilisation Mr Haworth returned to teaching, taking up an appointment at Greaves' County Secondary School, Lancaster, in 1948, and in 1952 gained the London (External) Inter B.Sc. in Pure and Applied Mathematics, and Physics. In 1951 he became general secretary of the Lancaster Schools Sports' Association and was Championship's Secretary to the English Schools Swimming Association for the 1954 national championships at Lancaster.

The C.C.F.

In April 1955 Mr Haworth was appointed to Boston Grammar School to teach Mathematics and to take over command of the C.C.F. with the rank of Captain (TA). As a classroom teacher and form-master Mr Haworth always had the interests of his pupils in mind, genuinely caring about their welfare and progress, and attempting to instil the virtues of hard work, good learning habits and thorough command of basic skills.

Many hundreds of his pupils will have had cause to thank Mr Haworth, as they continued in Sixth Form work, in higher education, or in jobs, for the foundations he helped to lay in the Lower and Middle School.

It is for his hard work with the Combined Cadet Force, however, that Lt Colonel Haworth will be remembered most. The external recognition of his contribution to the C.C.F., nationally and locally, came in the form of promotions; firstly to Major (T.A.) in 1964 and then to Lt Colonel (TA) in October, 1971, this being the highest rank possible for a C.C.F. officer. He was awarded the cadet Force Medal and, in 1977, a bar to that medal. He was elected to the Council of the C.C.F. Association, representing the East Midlands, and was chairman of the C.C.F. conference.


Hundreds of present and former members of the C.C.F., not least those who have become regular members of H.M. Forces, will remember with gratitude the opportunities to widen their experience, and to learn to meet physical and mental challenges, which came their way because of Lt-Col. Haworth's work and that of the officers who served under him; they will remember not only weekly parades and Annual Inspections but the challenge of C.C.F. camps and arduous training in such places as the hills of Scotland and the Lake District. They will appreciate how much of Lt-Col. Haworth's time and energy was spent in planning and organising these activities.

Outside the school Mr Haworth will be remembered for his work as a Town Councillor from 1961 to 1966, as Secretary of the Ratepayers Association, and as President of the Boston Branch of the Royal British Legion. Had he continued his work as a Councillor he might well have been elected Mayor in his own right, but he did have the pleasure of seeing his wife elected Mayor and being able to support her as her Consort.

We extend our sympathy to Mrs Haworth who gave full support to her husband's activities even when they must have interfered with their family life, and to his daughter Margaret – now Mrs Margaret Cox – and her husband.

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