Harrow County/Gayton High Staff

Harry Mees

by Dianne Watson

It was with deep sorrow that I learnt of the death of Harry. I met him on my first day at Gayton - September 1978. He told me I was joining his year group and would be form tutor to 4C , previously taken by an RE teacher who had left. I was horrified as I expected to get a first year form. He said don't worry they will look after you and as always he was right they were a great bunch of lads who found the Welsh accent a laugh especially when I called the register. Harry was my mentor, friend, advisor, supporter and above all a great role model in my first job. His love of his subject was inspiring; his love of the school was legendary - so many stories he would tell me about his life at Harrow County and Gayton. Did he really stand on the school roof and sing the school song when Harrow Country closed?I came to know him well in my first year as he took me under his wing and saw me through a difficult time as I learnt the ropes about being a teacher and a tutor. Perhaps his greatest gift to me was his optimism - nothing was unachievable - he would say to me when I had doubt about a production "She'll run girl, she'll run" and as always it did.

My best friend Audrey McNamara and I did props for the school productions with Harry -Staff panto's, Charlies Aunt, Joseph, Sweeney Todd, Dramathon to name but a few in the early eighties - so many memories, so many laughs. Nothing was too much trouble for him. With Lesley Slater, Andy Kelso, Peter Cowburn and the Cavanaghs we put on productions that would grace the west end!.( Not forgetting Terry Andrews) I remember one day he asked Aud and I to get some hay for the opening scene in Joseph! I took the afternoon off (Can't do that now) and went visiting farms in the area to return with 5 bales of hay which duly stank and collapsed when sat on during the rehearsal the next weekend (Risk assessment hell now). Harry helped us clear the stage for hours so Harry Hull (Headteacher) wouldn't find out and close us down!! This was a Sunday !!

I could go on for pages but I will finish by saying that Harry was a giant, a man who made a difference to pupils and staff and who will be looking down on us now saying " She'll run girl" and he certainly did.!!

God bless you Harry - you were and are a star!

Di Watson

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