Good guy of education and music Stuart Bowes honoured

REPRESENTATIVES from the worlds of education and music came together this week to honour Stuart Bowes, one of Rotherham's leading figures in both fields, who died last week aged 70 after a lengthy illness.

A gifted musician, Mr Bowes — described by actor Dean Andrews as “one of life's good blokes” — spent his entire working life in education, as a teacher, headmaster and more recently chair of governors at the town’s Newman School.

Born on Teesside, he trained as a teacher in Sunderland where he met his wife Jenny. They moved to the Rotherham area when he took up his first post as music teacher at Sheffield’s Abbeydale Grammar.

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Mr Bowes later taught at Anston Park Junior before becoming deputy head of Coit Primary in Chapeltown.

After his next post as head of Hatfield House school in Sheffield,  Mr Bowes moved into educational administration,developing computerised management systems.

Throughout these years when his family lived in various parts of Rotherham,  Mr Bowes pursued his other major interest in life, playing the keyboards.

He was highly-rated accompanist on the notoriously difficult club scene, with stints at North Anston and Whiston’s Lonsdale clubs among many.

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One experienced local singer said this week: “Stuart was quite simply one of the very best, a joy to sing with

“He was inventive, sympathetic and instinctively right every time he played anything. His range was fantastic.”

Actor and singer Dean Andrews described Mr Bowes as “not only talented but one of life’s good blokes who’ll be sadly missed”.

Rotherham Crematorium was full on Tuesday to hear tributes to Mr Bowes, with many stressing his commitment to teaching and a helping others.

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One of his proudest achievements was leading the staff and specialist teachers at Newman School to an excellent rating from Ofsted.

He also enjoyed revisiting the pop and rock roots of his teenage years in Teesside’s Whirlwinds band by joining popular Rotherham groups for occasional charity gigs.

Mr Bowes leaves a widow, Jenny, sons Jonathan and Nick and grandchildren Aaron, Toby and Libby.