Tributes paid to long-serving Burnley teacher

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

TRIBUTES have been paid following the death of a retired teacher who taught at a Burnley high school for more than 30 years.

Thomas Chaffer, who died earlier this month, aged 76, was a Geography master at Towneley High School for 33 years and also taught at Burnley College.

Mr Chaffer, who leaves wife Mary, 76, and two sons, Christopher and Richard, also had an active retirement after leaving the school in 1994, rediscovering his early love of drawing and learning foreign languages.

His son Richard, 35, said: “I think dad was perfectly suited to being a teacher. He had a gentle, tolerant nature and treated everyone as equals.

“He also used to enjoy injecting humour into his teaching and loved cracking jokes.

“Everyone who has spoken to me about him since his death has described as a 'true gent'.

“In recent years he has returned to an early love and hobby of his, drawing.

“He enjoyed drawing people around Burnley, in particular Ightenhill for a number of years, capturing the various charactersand musicians at the local clubs and pubs.

“He also learned Italian and German, which was some achievement for someone of his years.”

Mr Chaffer was also well known in the area because his father owned an off-licence in the Wood Top area of Burnley, which he kept running during his early teaching career.

In later life he was secretary of Burnley West Probus Club.

Mr Chaffer’s funeral service will be held at St Peters Church, Burnley, at noon on Monday, December 31.

Comments (10)

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8:38am Mon 24 Dec 12

John Oakes says...

Just soooo sad to hear of Tom's passing.he was truly one of the good guys.I remember well how supportive he was with me when I was a probationer at Hargher Clough.

RIP Tom and my sympathy to your family--he will be missed by many.

from John retired and living in France.
Just soooo sad to hear of Tom's passing.he was truly one of the good guys.I remember well how supportive he was with me when I was a probationer at Hargher Clough. RIP Tom and my sympathy to your family--he will be missed by many. from John retired and living in France. John Oakes
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10:32am Mon 24 Dec 12

sueysuey1 says...

Tom Chaffer was one of the very few inspirational teachers of that time and all round nice guy. I have not seen him since leaving Townley in the late 70s but I am an saddened to hear of his passing and I am sure he will be missed but not forgotten by many people who were lucky enough to have met him
Tom Chaffer was one of the very few inspirational teachers of that time and all round nice guy. I have not seen him since leaving Townley in the late 70s but I am an saddened to hear of his passing and I am sure he will be missed but not forgotten by many people who were lucky enough to have met him sueysuey1
  • Score: 0

6:09pm Mon 24 Dec 12

RichardChaffer says...

Hello to anyone who new my Father,
( and thank you for your nice comments )

I am collecting comments and images of my Dad for posterity, legacy etc, if you would like to send any memories, thoughts or images please email me at comments@richardchaf
fer.co.uk

Thank you
Hello to anyone who new my Father, ( and thank you for your nice comments ) I am collecting comments and images of my Dad for posterity, legacy etc, if you would like to send any memories, thoughts or images please email me at comments@richardchaf fer.co.uk Thank you RichardChaffer
  • Score: 0

6:11pm Mon 24 Dec 12

RichardChaffer says...

comments@richardchaf
fer.co.uk
comments@richardchaf fer.co.uk RichardChaffer
  • Score: 0

6:42pm Mon 24 Dec 12

RichardChaffer says...

Sorry for the typo *knew and my email has no spaces in it.

( For some reason when you post an email address on here it splits the line up )
Sorry for the typo *knew and my email has no spaces in it. ( For some reason when you post an email address on here it splits the line up ) RichardChaffer
  • Score: 0

1:54pm Wed 26 Dec 12

BURNLEYITE39 says...

was a decent geography teacher.dunno y my other comment was pulled,was only his school nickname !!!!!!
was a decent geography teacher.dunno y my other comment was pulled,was only his school nickname !!!!!! BURNLEYITE39
  • Score: 0

10:54pm Thu 27 Dec 12

Random Username says...

Really sad to hear of the passing of Mr. Chaffer. As with Sueysuey1, he was an inspiration for me at Towneley and I have loved geography all my life, and indeed in my career in town planning. I will wear leather elbow patches on my jacket in his memory.
Really sad to hear of the passing of Mr. Chaffer. As with Sueysuey1, he was an inspiration for me at Towneley and I have loved geography all my life, and indeed in my career in town planning. I will wear leather elbow patches on my jacket in his memory. Random Username
  • Score: 0

3:05pm Fri 28 Dec 12

RichardChaffer says...

I have created a page for anyone to upload images etc it is called 'memories and legacy of Thomas Chaffer' and it can be searched for on face book ...

Re: Burnleyite39 perhaps a school nickname isnt for public posts but please send it to me because i am interested in all, good, bad or indifferent etc
I have created a page for anyone to upload images etc it is called 'memories and legacy of Thomas Chaffer' and it can be searched for on face book ... Re: Burnleyite39 perhaps a school nickname isnt for public posts but please send it to me because i am interested in all, good, bad or indifferent etc RichardChaffer
  • Score: 0

11:42pm Sun 30 Dec 12

vicgebbie says...

So sad to hear of Tommy's passing. Ihave known him most of our lives.
I lived close by and we spent many hours playing in the house attached to the shop.We went to Wood Top and Hargher Clough together and were inth e cubs at Accrington Rd Methodist. In fact I went on what was my first football match together when a cubs sports day was cancelled. (That was in1946.
He latter taught both my daughters at Towneley.
It was a pleasure to have known him and to be a friend.
Vic Gebbie.
So sad to hear of Tommy's passing. Ihave known him most of our lives. I lived close by and we spent many hours playing in the house attached to the shop.We went to Wood Top and Hargher Clough together and were inth e cubs at Accrington Rd Methodist. In fact I went on what was my first football match together when a cubs sports day was cancelled. (That was in1946. He latter taught both my daughters at Towneley. It was a pleasure to have known him and to be a friend. Vic Gebbie. vicgebbie
  • Score: 0

7:06pm Fri 4 Jan 13

John Oakes says...

Tom also taught economics and economic geography at night school.As a collegue I was not a good pupil and we often had as much time laughing as we did learning.
One day in economics Tom wrote on the board that it was all about prophet and loss--our other mate a local Moslem did not find the joke in good taste--but he got over it in the pub after the lesson--Ashraf always enjoyed a pint especially if someone else was getting the round in.
Such happy carefree days-we had so much innocent fun--does not seem to happen the same these days but then Tom could always bring out the best in those around him.
So many happy memories--thanks Tom.
Tom also taught economics and economic geography at night school.As a collegue I was not a good pupil and we often had as much time laughing as we did learning. One day in economics Tom wrote on the board that it was all about prophet and loss--our other mate a local Moslem did not find the joke in good taste--but he got over it in the pub after the lesson--Ashraf always enjoyed a pint especially if someone else was getting the round in. Such happy carefree days-we had so much innocent fun--does not seem to happen the same these days but then Tom could always bring out the best in those around him. So many happy memories--thanks Tom. John Oakes
  • Score: 0

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