A Tribute to Major Tim Hayward
29/01/2016
It with extreme sadness that we announce the death of Major Tim Hayward who passed away on 26th January 2016.

Major Hayward made a unique contribution to Bromsgrove School from 1975 to 1997. After years of outdoor life in Zimbabwe, Tim and Gail as a couple relished the fresh challenges and opportunities of a British day and boarding school.

Tim was always a larger than life character to both School and Common Room - the life and soul of any gathering. He brought to every responsibility and task enormous energy and enthusiasm. He was big-hearted and whole-hearted in all things.

He played a crucial pastoral role in times of great change. Tim and Gail were the first House Parents of Oakley, our second girls' house and absolutely vital to the success of recently introduced co-education. Tim pioneered visits to the cinema, shopping centres, canoeing, ice rinks - and the barbeques and discos organised by the Haywards were legendary. They were much loved by the girls during their ten year tenure from 1983 to 1993.

Tim also ran Lyttelton and Walters' day boys’ houses. Did any other colleague in our history run three houses? Few, if any, would have done so. But no one surely ran four?

His contribution was all-embracing. Tim was a teacher of English and President of the Common Room. He coached many sports but notably it was his years in charge of the U14 and U15 Rugby teams which saw outstanding success. He produced an endless stream of fine young players, well versed in tactics and skill, and who then shone in senior sides. He also coached 1st XI cricket.

He was well-known for his love of animals and birds. He kept a goat at School which kept escaping; his Rhodesian ridgeback dog was notorious; he kept a succession of birds of prey, including a Goshawk which led to his nickname 'Gos'.

When the post of Officer Commanding CCF became vacant in 1989, Tim briskly stepped forward to take on a role crucial to life at Bromsgrove. Major Hayward’s famous distaste for paperwork led to an uncomplicated, no-nonsense practical approach which engendered the most positive responses from the cadets. The Corps attracted large numbers under his command and its hallmark under Tim was enjoyment and enthusiasm. He led adventurous training camps to many destinations and a succession of very successful Field Days and Inspections. He once took the salute on the Parade Ground on horseback - his charger grew increasingly restless as the ceremony wore on and at one point we thought horse and rider would be heading off into the sunset to Lower Charford at a gallop.

Today's Lower Fourth Camp is a huge event at Symonds Yat. It all began humbly with Tim and Gail initiating a camp on the site of the LRC, then in a field at their cottage until it was moved to Gloucestershire. From its inception, they attended all of the camps for the full week until 2014.

Tim continued to play an active role, long into his retirement, with his wife Gail with the CCF, on field days, D of E and expeditions. A visit to Norway was one of the most memorable of trips in recent years. It is true to say that many CCF trips in the holidays could not have been possible without Tim and Gail's presence.

Tim enjoyed a unique swansong when he led a fourth house. The School was full and in 2004, when a wing of the Perry Hall hotel became available for the School to use for seventeen pupils, Tim and Gail valiantly offered to step in. They managed to make Perry Hall - or rather a mere hotel wing - into a very happy home for the boys who lived there and to this day, the School still receives correspondence from Old Bromsgrovians who say that they will never forget the kindness shown to them by the Haywards. It was a trailblazer too - boarding pupils were back in the town after thirty years absence. When Perry Hall itself became available the groundwork had been done. It had been selfless work on their part - to move from their lovely cottage to a hotel corridor. Tim's noble sacrifice in retirement sums up a great servant of our School.

It was fitting that when an additional building was purchased at Perry Hall, it should be named 'Hayward House'. Opened in 2011, the inscription reads:

"This building is named in honour of Tim and Gail Hayward, the first Houseparents of Perry (later to become Housman) Hall. Over the decades, in many roles, they have enriched the lives of numerous Bromsgrovians, winning the respect, admiration and affection of all. Their achievements were immense. Their legacy will never be forgotten."

Our School offers sincere condolences to Gail, their children and grandchildren at this very sad time.

If you have any memories of Major Hayward during your time at Bromsgrove and would like to pass your condolences on to the family, please email us.

The memorial service for Major Tim Hayward will be held at Bromsgrove School on Thursday, 18th February at 2.30pm in the Memorial Chapel.

If you wish to attend, please let us know by emailing Oldbromsgrovians@bromsgrove-school.co.uk
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