Harrow County School for Boys

Mr. Cecil Groombridge

Photograph and text from Mr. Don McEwen

Mr. Groombridge died on Friday, 29th August, 2003 at his residential home in Kingsbury.

Cecil Groombridge was a very dedicated schoolmaster whose prime concern was his pupils.  When he was actively involved in his teaching life, he devoted all his efforts to their academic welfare.

Cecil, I always called him Mr. Groombridge at school, was a good boss and a very good friend to me.  He helped me considerably in my early days at HCS and I believe that we formed a good team.  He was very much the theoretical physicist and I the practical.  As such he left the organisation of open days and demos very much to me.  When he became Head of Science on Tom Busfield's retirement, he supported very strongly my promotion to Head of Physics.

Although I haven't seen much of him since I moved to Nottingham, I have visited him two or three times on my visits to my wife's sister in Wembley.  The last time I saw him we compared ages and he said that he was 11 years older than I.  That made him 93 at that time!

Goodbye Mr Groombridge!

Don McEwen, 03/09/03

On a very rare visit to London recently I managed to see Mr Groombridge.  He lives in a residential home in Kenton and is very cheerful with a ready smile.  He is now 92. I told him that Old Boys of HCS had asked after him and he asked me to pass on his regards to them. He served in the Physics Department from 1948 until 1973. He was Head of Physics when I joined in 1956 and later when Tom Busfield retired, he became Head of Science until he retired.

I am sure many ex-science pupils will remember him with affection and gratitude for his dedication to the job of teaching them the fundamentals of Physics. I thought they, his ex pupils, would like to see how he is faring!

Don McEwen ..... Nottingham.

From Gaytonian, 1973

Foremost among the departing members of staff was the Second Deputy Headmaster, Mr. C. Groombridge, who retired after a quarter of a century of service to the school, latterly as Head of Physics, Head of Science and master in charge of the GCE examinations.  The magazine of the Old Gaytonians referred to him as "meticulously efficient", and his painstaking checking of the GCE entries and the distribution and despatching of the examination papers was a task done to perfection.  But "Tufty" was no mere machine; and his genial personality has long made a strong contribution to the warmth of the Common Room.  The more neurotic members of Staff often marvelled at his ability to stay calm under pressure, especially so perhaps during the last two difficult years.  The outstanding science results of succeeding generations of Gaytonians speak for themselves and were referred to by the Secretary of State when announcing her decision on the future of the School.  That we remain, for the present at least, as we have always been, is perhaps the greatest tribute to the quiet mind that has guided scientists so well over these many years.

Some estimate of the warmth and affection with which he was held in his own Department could be made at the Common Room Dinner, given to mark his retirement: a large number of former colleagues came from all over the country to pay tribute: we join them in wishing him and Mrs. Groombridge many years of peace and happiness.  May the barometer he was given by the Parents' Union always read "Set Fair".


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