Sam Ashton (SH 47-53) has submitted the following regarding the Reverend Brian Scott (G 48-53):

“At school we became close in our last year when he was head of school and I was his second in command. He was on Grindal, I was on School House. Later we became and remained very close friends.

He was born in 1935, the younger of two sons of Rose and George Scott of Hoylake; his elder brother Dennis, his senior  by six years, was killed in World War two whilst serving in the RAF.

After attending Kingsmead Prep. School, Hoylake, he went to St Bees in 1948. In addition to his academic record his enthusiasm for cricket was very evident: he was in the 1st X1 for three seasons and in his last was vice captain. He is remembered by contemporaries as a reliable spin bowler. In addition he was in the Cross Country V111, and was captain in 1953. He was a librarian, and in his last year was head librarian. In the C.C.F. he rose to the rank of sergeant. It was at St Bees, with all the freedom we then had, that he first came to know and love the mountains of the Lake District. After leaving school he was called up for his two years’ national service, which he did in the Cheshire Regiment, and during which he was commissioned at Eaton Hall O.C.S. in 1954. In 1955 he went up to Oxford and read history at Corpus Christi, gaining a BA Honours degree.

His calling to the priesthood was, I think, a gradual thing, beginning at St Bees and solidifying during his two years in the army. At any rate in 1959 he went to study for holy orders at the College of the Resurrection at Mirfield, Yorkshire, and in 1962 he was ordained Deacon at Carlisle Cathedral, and was appointed curate at St Aiden`s, Carlisle. He later taught at Hutton Grammar School (Preston) before being ordained priest at Leicester Cathedral in 1965. He taught at the Leicester City Boys School whilst also being curate in the parishes of Ratby and Groby in the Leicester diocese.

In 1968 he married Susan Mary Haddelsey at Launde Abbey, where her father, the Revd. C.V.B. Haddelsey, was Warden. He continued working at ‘City Boys’ and with the theological students at the abbey, also helping his father-in-law to officiate in the parishes around, as well as in the abbey. He and Susan had two daughters, Clare and Madeleine.

From 1971 to 1978 he was vicar of All Saints Lubbenham and Theddingworth, and following that until 1983, was chaplain of Oundle School and Laxton School in Northants. From 1983 to 1999 he was Rector of St. Peter’s, Barrowden and St Mary’s, South Luffenham in the Peterborough diocese.

He retired to live in the village of Preston in Rutland, where he continued to officiate in the diocese, particularly in Preston and Oakham. 
That is the summary of his life, dedicated to the service of others, seven days a week.

After St Bees I caught up with him at Eaton Hall. This was the era when all eighteen year-old men were called up for two years of military service. For many this came very soon after leaving school; service in the C.C.F. was a useful precursor. The army required junior officers in large numbers, there being a two year turnover period. National service infantry officers were trained at Eaton Hall Officer Cadet School, near Chester. I quickly learnt what a zany sense of humour Brian had. He was in ‘D’ company, their sergeant major was CSM Tarrant of the Welsh Guards, a man without humour, whom Brian christened ‘The Tarantula’.

Our Regimental Sergeant Major was RSM Tomlinson of the Coldstream Guards. He had a lexicon of parade ground exhortations, the most common of which, delivered fortissimo, was: “Let`s Have A Bit More Military Bearing!”  On one well remembered morning the whole school, four companies, was on parade, formed up in a hollow square, rehearsing for a passing out parade. I was in ‘C’ company. RSM Tomlinson recited his favourite one-liner once too often for Brian. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a cadet double up with mirth, spotted first by the Tarantula, then by the RSM. With much bellowing of orders the offender was doubled off the square and into the guardroom by two regimental policemen; I could just see that it was Brian! This is just one example of his eye and ear for the ridiculous; another, as confirmed by Malcolm Corrie, was his preoccupation by the species rattus rattus. Thus for example, a pub lunch would be “having a rat pie”, the car would be “the ratmobile”, and so on. Such was this parallel world that he created, that his pupil, protege, and now the reverend James Muggleton, at first thought that “St Bees” was yet another Bunteresque figment of Brian`s imagination!

I caught up with him again in Oxford, he at Corpus Christi, me working locally. He came to stay in my digs during one long summer vac’ whilst he was working as the assistant lock keeper at Goring on Thames. His boss, retired CPO Leadbetter R.N., sought to rule his “entire staff” (his wife and Brian) with naval discipline, which extended also to all boat users who dared to navigate through his lock. All this verbiage and antics was to Brian`s huge amusement. 

Whilst he was undergoing his training, and thereafter while he was still in the north, he was a frequent visitor to our family, and in 1971 he came up to marry Sue and me. Later, when we both had young families, we met up when Brian, Susan and family came up to stay in the Lakes, usually Coniston. 
As a teacher he was inspirational, and he is particularly remembered by the alumni of the Leicester City Boys School, to which Brian gave an alternative title “Dr Bell’s Academy”.

The then headmaster, Dr Bell, was to say the least an elitist, an ethos that pervaded the entire school - except for Brian. This attitude was anathema to him. And he proved his point. He actually enjoyed teaching the difficult classes, he was able to control them, was amused by them (I expect it was mutual), persuaded them that they mattered, and got good work out of them. A colleague of his remembers;
‘On his final day he took to the stage in front of the fully assembled school and what he reiterated was the simple gospel principle that we should treat all, no matter what their background, or their abilities, as we would expect to be treated ourselves. The boys rose with one accord, they clapped, they stamped their feet, and cheered. The school would never be quite the same again. Overnight Brian had become something of a folk hero.’ 
One weekday morning in Advent in 2005 I attended a service in Uppingham parish church to commemorate Brian`s forty years in the priesthood. Of the three priests officiating, Brian was the least tall: he was recovering from a very severe and serious affliction of the spine, which he had borne with great fortitude. The surgery had shortened his spine, leaving him with a stoop, but with his spirit undiminished. The place was jammed to the door, with friends from all the parishes where Brian had been vicar, rector, or occasional preacher. The winter sunlight streamed in illuminating the church and the priest`s matching vestments; it was a very moving experience.

A year or two later I stayed overnight with Brian and Susan. By now he was “retired” but like all so-called retired clergy, he was always in demand to take services. Early on the Sunday morning I drove him to a church high on a hill in deepest rural Rutland. The church warden greeted him warmly and then said that as it was the fourth Sunday in the month, the Book of Common Prayer would be used. ‘Oh dear, I thought we were trying to move the church forward, not back.’  This reaction of his summed up his attitude to the liturgy, not for him any celebrations of anniversaries of, for example, the King James Bible.
 Anyway, Brian took the service, as ever with great dignity and sincerity, his delivery, slow, clear, and emphatic, demanding attention. He preached an unforgettable sermon on the theme of The Good Shepherd.

Sadly, in December 2011, he was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus. He battled on with his already tested courage and died in Leicester Infirmary on April 3rd 2012. The funeral service was on April 20th in Uppingham parish church, which was packed.

In putting together the above I am greatly indebted to Brian`s wife, Susan, James Muggleton, and to my fellow O.S.Bs, James Brindle and Malcolm Corrie.”



The St. Beghian Society,    St. Bees School,    St. Bees,    Cumbria,    CA27 0DS.
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