A POPULAR former Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School chemistry teacher has died, aged 66.

Stuart Ingham, who spent 36 years at the school in West Park Road, Blackburn, died while on holiday with his family in America. It is believed he suffered a heart attack.

Mr Ingham, of Blackburn, leaves a widow, Irene, and son David.

He joined QEGS in 1970 from Crown Paints where he had spent a year after graduating from the University of Leicester.

During his time at the school, Mr Ingham spent many years teaching Oxbridge students, with considerable success.

As well as teaching, he was also heavily involved in extra-curricular activities, including the Potholing and Caving Society, the Senior Walking Club, school trips and the adventure weeks in Wales.

A spokesman said: “On one memorable occasion, in 1992, the group was learning to orienteer in pitch dark conditions, equipped with only a torch and a map.

“Only one team failed to return by the 9.30pm deadline and that was an embarrassed staff team, ably led by Mr Ingham.”

When Mr Ingham retired in 2006, he planned to continue pursuing his love of outdoor life with trips to America, New Zealand Australia and Ecuador.

Headteacher Simon Corns said: “Those teachers who remain in one school and retain throughout their careers their enthusiasm for their subject and a caring approach to their pupils are rare indeed.

“And we are fortunate at Queen Elizabeth’s to have had someone of Stuart’s quality for such a long time.

“He was utterly committed to the school and countless former pupils owe him a huge debt of gratitude.”

Head of chemistry Alan Sagar said: “Stuart was a traditional teacher, delivering well-structured and well-prepared lessons.”