Mr Robert Mathews, H.N.C., joined the staff in 1961. as Head of the Engineering Department. He brought to this challenging post the expertise of a professional engineer, varied experience in industry and teaching experience gained in two large Technical Colleges. He brought a great deal more - infections enthusiasm for this work, and a warm and friendly personality. Mr Matthews was an active man who could turn his hand to almost anything. He never stopped thinking about his work and its implications. He had a probing, questing mind that delighted in tackling his own and other people’s technical problems.
He loved having to break new ground. He was a meticulous craftsman and draughtsman, and had a fertile and inventive mind. As a result, there flowed from him a rich stream of ideas and suggestions which nourished his own department and made an impact on others.
Mr Mathews had a great respect for the traditional principles and practices of engineering, but he was forward-looking and showed a lively curiosity in new developments likely to affect the future of those he taught. This is why, being young at heart and mentally adventurous himself, he appealed so warmly to boys, especially in the Upper School. It was his influence which encouraged so many boys to enter the faculties of engineering.
With all his talents, Mr Mathews was a modest man. He had a quiet friendly manner, which endeared him to us all. The many visitors he was called upon to entertain spoke in the highest terms of his enthusiasm, his ideas, his knowledge and his good humour.
The death of Mr Mathews, at the early age of 51, has deprived the school of one of its staunchest pillars. We have suffered an irreparable loss. We pay grateful tribute to the inspiring work and example of a good schoolmaster and a good friend. His influence will live on, not only here, but in schools in other parts of Britain and overseas