Tributes to well-respected and inspirational former Burnley headteacher and church lay reader

The late James Chadwick Scott
The late James Chadwick Scott

Tributes have been paid after the death of a well-loved ex-headteacher who was described as a "true gentleman".

James Chadwick Scott, who was a former headteacher at Wellfield Methodist and Anglican Church School and St Stephen's Primary School, Burnley, died earlier this month aged 77 having suffered primary progressive aphasia.

James, who also previously taught at Walter Street Primary School, Brierfield and Trawden Primary School, was a lay reader for 45 years at St James' Church in Briercliffe.

Born and brought up in Burnley, James attended St James' Lanehead before being educated at Burnley Grammar School. He went onto teacher training college near Oxford and despite passing his exams with flying colours, he decided to attend night school and gain extra qualifications in order to teach foreign students English.

He met his wife-to-be, Sheila, at a friend's Boxing Day party in 1962 and the couple married at Clitheroe Parish Church three years later aged 22. The newlyweds made their first home in Brierfield.

Sheila, also a former teacher, praised James' passion and dedication to teaching and reading. She said: "He absolutely loved teaching and was an inspirational person. He had a special love for Reception classes. He was passionate about reading and in our library we have over 4,000 books. He was a very hard worker. When he first began teaching, he took it upon himself to attend Manchester University and complete his Bachelor of Education degree and a Master's degree in philosophy. When not at school, he had a great love for transport, especially buses and trams and we often holidayed in Blackpool to ride on the trams. When James retired from St Stephen's Primary School, he was moved to receive his leaving gift which was an experience driving a steam train in Yorkshire. The family bought him a pass to drive a tram in Derbyshire and he was absolutely over the moon. He enjoyed his work with the church and had been a lay reader for a very long time. In fact, his associations with the church go back to when he was a little boy and he was in the church choir. He was especially honoured to receive Maundy Money from Her Majesty, the Queen at Blackburn Cathedral five years ago in recognition of his services to his community and St James' Church in Briercliffe."

Sheila went onto pay tribute to a "true gentleman" and great entertainer. "He loved to joke and tell funny stories," she said. "He had a very good sense of humour, a true entertainer, fun person to be with and a very loyal friend. He was so loved by everyone he met. In fact, his popularity is evident with the dozens of condolence cards I have received from former pupils, staff, friends and wellwishers after his passing. He will be missed by everyone who had the pleasure to know him."

A funeral service will be held on Thursday (January 30th) at 10-15am at St James' Church, Briercliffe, followed by a committal at Burnley Crematorium. It will be family flowers only, but donations are welcome to St James' Church, Briercliffe.