Pictured is John Horobin with Colin Burrow taken in February 2009.
Colin Burrow was my most influential teacher during my time at LEGS, from 1956 to 1963. He developed my love of biology and stimulated my interest in plants, animals and the environment which has stayed with me for the rest of my life.
He worked hard to enable a group of us to accelerate our O level biology course and take the exam a year early, in 1960, at the end of our fourth year. This allowed us to start A and S level biology a year early at the beginning of the fifth year and to take the exam, in 1962, at the end of lower sixth. Colin then took us on through the A and S level syllabus for botany and zoology during the upper sixth. The difference between biology and botany and zoology was pretty large and we covered a much wider range of topics. At the time I never thought about all the work he must have put in to teach the subjects separately. Instead I remember happy days in the biology lab which was then on the upper floor of the new two story building by the boys’ entrance. It had a funny little greenhouse jutting out which usually contained some rather miserable looking Pelargoniums and other miscellaneous biology.
Having botany and zoology as two separate subjects put us in a very good position applying to university and two of us, Maura Williamson and I, got into King’s College, London. I was then able to spend my final year studying my real love, land ecology, at University College which lead onto research and a very fulfilling and happy career.
Colin was a man with many talents. He was chief examiner for the Associated Examining Board, an author of two text books and an accomplished musician. He pioneered a music society at school where a group of us met in the hall to listen to and talk about music on a regular basis.
Maura and Colin married after university and we kept in touch at Christmas. In my retirement I had the opportunity to visit them in 2009 at their home in Gloucestershire where he concluded his professional career as a deputy headmaster. I hadn’t seen Colin for very many years but instantly recognised him. Apart from age he hadn’t changed much; still brisk and sharp and maybe even more eccentric. After sometime he left Maura and me as he had to get back up his ladder and attend to re-pointing the mortar courses on their house; in February!