Obituary: Andrew Wood

Following the sad news of the death of long-serving former teacher, Andrew (A.J.) Wood, former pupil Nick Booth (1975-1982) has kindly provided us with these thoughts.

Andrew Wood – or A.J. as he was known to most of us – was probably the best teacher I ever had in my years at Sandbach School and certainly the most formative one in my education. And here is why: he started the fire that burned so brightly, something which he taught us about and much of the wisdom of Plutarch (among many others). “Knowledge is a fire to be lighted, not a vessel to be filled,” was exactly what Mr Wood gave us. And this was in a Latin class, probably the luckiest break I ever had as a pupil at a state school in the seventies. Without Latin, I wouldn’t have appreciated language, and without Mr Wood, I would never have become a writer, He simply brought everything to life and in some of the fun and games that the Roman Emperors got up to, lessons that are still painfully relevant to today. Alas, I decided that studying science was what I wanted to do and that meant I didn’t carry on to O Level – a source of great distress for both of us, though eventually, I think he forgave me. But thank you, sir, for everything and all that you gave to the school and generations of pupils before and after. It[s a debt we all carry and as I write these words I have tears forming in my eyes.

Nicholas Booth (at school from 1975 to 1982)