Axminster born man who became a top teacher dies
PUBLISHED: 18:04 09 January 2018
Tributes are paid to internationally acclaimed poet and English tutor Neil Adams
A much revered East Devon retired teacher, author and poet has died in Derbyshire, leaving a widow, two sons and a daughter.
Axminster born Neil Adams, who was 90, travelled to the former Lyme Regis Grammar School as a pupil on the old branch railway line and went on to write a poem about the steam engine ‘Puffing Billy’ which was published in several countries.
Mr Adams later taught English at Lyme Grammar for a few years and was the housemaster at the St Andrew’s Boarding House.
His time in Lyme was very much a home-coming for the inspirational teacher because his involvement in the area had always been significant having been a leader of the Army Cadets in Charmouth and prominent in stage productions, including directing for the operatic society.
His skill and commitment as a teacher and his dedication in helping pupils to fulfil their potential illuminated a sparkling career in the field of education spanning 40 years.
For the last 26 years of his career in the profession he was head of secondary schools in Cheshire and Staffordshire.
He was a prolific writer and his various publications featured the management of schools and aspects of local history as well as several collections of verse highlighting his depth and understanding of human nature and the environment.
Mr Adams, who attended early reunions of the now defunct Woodroffe Association for former pupils, loved to hear from ex students and was always interested in their progress and the paths they had taken in life.
One of his former pupils told The Midweek Herald: “It was with immense sadness that we heard of the death of Mr Adams.
“To many of us he was much more than our teacher - he was a man we so much wanted to please for we know that he cared so much
“His enthusiasm was infectious, his lessons innovative and interesting.
“He commanded and got tremendous respect, yet we felt he was our friend. Above all he was a very nice man and the effect he had on our lives has been enduring.”