No. 188

OSB Logo The Old St Beghian
  Autumn 2015


Nigel John Gilpin (Master 62-66), 1933-2014.

Janet Gilpin has kindly supplied the following notice:


Nigel was born in 1933, the only child of Hubert, a merchant navy captain, and Vera, in North London.  He attended Highgate School during the war years and sang in their excellent choir, recording with Sir Malcolm Sargent. He developed a deep love of music there which stayed with him throughout his life.

He excelled in English, which he read at Selwyn College Cambridge; but he was also a serious sportsman, representing the school at soccer (in goal) and cricket, a sporting career which he continued in Cambridge, captaining both sides at Selwyn.  His particular loves of Arsenal FC and Middlesex CCC were fostered by regular visits to Highbury and Lords with his father; cricket teas when keeping wicket and batting for Totteridge led to his meeting with his beloved Janet, whom he married in 1957.

His teaching career began at Taunton School (1955-1962), where he taught English and contributed hugely to the sporting success of the school, and from there he moved to be Head of English at St Bees School (1962-66), before moving from the independent to the state sector as Head of English at the Crypt School, Gloucester
Nigel Gilpin (M62-66)

Sport continued to play an important role in his life as he laid down cricket and took up golf, which at his peak he played off a handicap of two. He then went as Deputy Head to Hele’s School in Exeter (1969-72) before being appointed at the young age of 38 to lead Poole Grammar School: the Governors insisted on a second round of interviews before finalising this somewhat daring appointment.

As Head of PGS, Nigel led the school through a period of strong development and change, as the teaching profession itself changed.  He continued to find recreation in golf (living opposite Broadstone Golf Course until 1982), music (the BSO) and theatre, and developed a strong commitment to the work of the magistracy. He became Chair of Poole Bench in 1991, and after retirement took a full part in training and developing magistrates both locally and nationally.  He and Janet moved to Bere Regis in 1982 to a home in which he developed a new sporting interest, in snooker, as he laid down the golf clubs.  After retirement he was honoured to be appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Dorset, and he and Janet travelled widely, enjoying cultural cruises and tours of French vineyards, both on their own and with family and friends.  Even though in later years travel became more restricted, he and Janet continued to explore Britain and Dorset, and his commitment to Janet and his family; to education; society; community and his sporting loves never wavered.  He is survived by Janet, his two sons, Jeremy and Tim, and his grandsons Matthew and Charlie.




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

Tel: (01946) 828093     
Email:      Web:

                                                                   OSB Facebook