Richard Anderson

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Richard William Anderson
Richard Anderson saluting
Richard Anderson wearing a CCF Navy Section uniform
Nicknames Popeye, Sirzus
Nationality British
Education BA (Hons), Bradford; Cert Ed, Nottingham
Roles Head of Department, Subject Leader German
Years at BGS January 1971-April 1971, September 1971-August 2014
Departments Modern Languages
Subjects German, French, Physical Education
Known for Involved in many clubs and societies
Notable work(s) General Knowledge, Cross Country Club, Circuit Training, German Club, Schuhplattler Gruppe, Subbuteo Club, Model Railway Club, War Game Club, Athletic Club, Charity Club, Grammar Gazette, keep-fit, CCF Naval Section, (and many more)
Home town Newcastle upon Tyne

Richard William Anderson was a teacher of Modern Languages (German and French) at Boston Grammar School. He was at the school as a student teacher from January to April 1971, returning following qualification in September 1971. Apart from his teaching he is known for having been involved in many extra-curricular activities, having formed and run many clubs and societies. Notable among these achievements are the General Knowledge Club (formerly Inter-House General Knowledge and BGS Mastermind), and the Schuhplattler Gruppe, both of which have been featured on television, and the Charity Club, which has raised a large amount of money for various good causes. At his peak he was responsible for 28 clubs.


On 2 June 2014 Richard announced that he would retire on 31 August 2014.


The following profile is on the Boston Borough Council's website, Roll of achievement page, obviously written before his retirement.[1]

Richard Anderson's life is entirely dedicated to Boston Grammar School. When Richard arrived he was told it was no use arranging after-school clubs - boys wouldn't stay back; no use trying to arrange foreign trips - no one wanted to go. He's proved those statements wrong. Club Continental. Charity Club. Cross Country Club. General Knowledge Club. For a time, Railway Club. For a shorter time Hacky Sack Club, but where there were boys with an enthusiasm which needed help to develop, Richard was there to give that help.

When it comes to teaching no one puts in more effort. His classes are a three-ring circus of activity. He's always available for out-of-hours extra teaching. And when it comes to covering for absent colleagues he would sooner teach than get his own work done while the class work silently. There have been times where he would take his own class and an absent colleague's class into the dining-hall and teach both together, switching from form to form and French to German to keep both sets of boys fully employed. In the days of the language festivals he would work tirelessly to provide role-plays and readers and transport the lot of them up to Lincoln. When the event was hosted at BGS it involved even more work.

He was the originator, with Bob Don-Duncan, of the Skegness to Boston Seabank Marathon, planning the route and check-points. He raised money for the school's first minibus and for the hall curtains. He was the doyen of jumble sales, driving the minibus around town and villages to collect items for sale and keeping the whole thing together. The Charity Club he runs has benefited so many causes. A cheque for £3,000 would be handed over on Speech Day. Only when he'd been told he couldn't (because of Health and Safety) hold the 12 (formerly 24) hour fundraising marathons did it prove impossible to reach that target.

He's driven many more miles in minibuses than in his own car, always providing drop-off at home at the end of a trip, and a fish and chip supper on the way home. Pop concerts, motorbike races, shows and exhibitions, as well as cross-country and athletics events. Trips abroad began with one a year and then became two a year, with a trip to France for the juniors in the summer term half-term and a trip to Germany or Austria with the seniors in the summer holiday. His reward is those boys who in later life return to those places. From the trip reunions came the Schuhplattlergruppe. The dining room was set up to look like a Bavarian bier-hall and after a meal would come a cabaret. The plattler routine was used in the language festivals.

Then came the first television appearance, regular bookings at fêtes and festivals, even more television appearances. Typically modest, he would never front these broadcast, saying that any success was "down to the lads and the lads should take the credit". Taking a British plattler group to Austria and Germany is utterly remarkable.

In journalistic ventures he's gone from the 1G Journal to the Grammar Gazette, regretting the passing of the school magazine along the way. His Achievement Assemblies highlight all the good that goes on at BGS. As a member of Boston Athletic Club he used the Princess Royal Sports Arena and latterly uses the Beehive for coaching. And now he runs BGS's Sports Day at the arena.

Pupils, parents and teachers have always supported RWA over the years. To show their support, parents and pupils arranged a This Is Your Life surprise party for him. And when his future at the school looked doubtful he was retained following a campaign of public support. Now the oldest and longest-serving teacher at the Grammar School, he's looked up to not just by "the lads" but the teachers too, who will seek him out for help and advice. He's survived by not being hide-bound by tick-lists and requirements. He knows what's good for the lads and makes sure they get it.

Submitted by Ron Abbott, friend and colleague since 1971 (Not quite accurate since Ron arrived at BGS in 1973)


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