The Leas School,  Hoylake

Thomas  Scott  HANNAY

b 5 Apr 1914,  Wirral, Cheshire, England

d 10 Mar 1975,  Cheshire, England

Tom Hannay's father was William Sinclair Scott Hannay, who at prep-school age may have been taught by Percy Dealtry at Greenbank, Sefton Park; it seems most likely that WSS Hannay was (formally or informally) a pupil-teacher at The Leas for its first few terms. Tom himself attended The Leas in the 1920s, going on to Rugby in January 1928.

Tom's father, and his Hannay grandfather and great-grandfather were cotton brokers; it was expected that Tom would follow in their footsteps, and he served his apprenticeship as a cotton broker. But Tom found office work uncongenial, and after a serious operation he was advised to work in the open air; so, after working in censorship during the Second Warld War (being medically unfit for military service), he set up a market-gardening business instead.

On 17 July 1940 Tom had married Doreen Hewitt Paul, daughter of William Hewitt Paul, a director of Paul Bros, flour millers. Tom and Doreen set up home at Graham Lodge, opposite the playing fields of The Leas; and their children were born there. The family moved to Westwood, Brimstage; but it must have been an obvious choice to send their son Anthony to The Leas. And a number of Anthony's relations also attended The Leas: Richard and Guy Tilby, James and Robert Ellis, Tim and Guy Bigland, Charles and Tudor Williams; and Anthony's son Andrew, who was there when the school closed. WSS Hannay and Andrew Hannay make the Hannay family uniquely present at both the foundation and the closure of the school, four generations of intimate connection.

In 1958 Tom gave up market gardening, and joined the teaching staff at The Leas. He taught Scripture (at The Leas this was little more than the telling of bible stories, certainly no religious enquiry), French and Maths; and, like all the other teachers, he assisted with extra-curricular activities. He coached sports, certainly football and cricket, perhaps hockey too, and occasionally drove the team minibus to games away.

Tom was a gentle man, and to some an inspiring teacher; and he was terrific at reading out loud, both novels and the bible. At the end of each term he would quieten the crowd of over-excited boys by reading Damon Runyan, laying special emphasis on each example of American words and gangster lingo.

Tom occasionally drove the Irish contingent to or from the boat in Liverpool; memory suggests that in the 1960s he drove a large heavy grey Rover.

Tom retired from The Leas in 1970.

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