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It is always with great sadness when the Old Tridents' Society learns of the death of any of its members, and our thoughts are always with their families.
As well as receiving information from families of Old Tridents, fellow OTs or friends of Trent, The Old Tridents' Society sometimes relies on information passed to us via Obituaries cited in national publications.
Please do get in touch with us if you have some sad news to pass on to us and we will share this amongst our community. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0115 849 4994.
A tribute is paid by the OT Society at its Annual General Meeting every year, a moment's silence is held following which a formal obituary notice is published here online (please see the links below).
In the period between a notice being received by the OT Society and the obituary notice being published, tributes are made here.
Simon Bennett 1945 – 2017
Hanbury 1966-1973 & 1987-1988
Tribute written by
When I arrived in January 1968 (for my first, two term job and first experience of Public School) Simon had served for four terms and was in charge of virtually everything that moved. That he was a fellow King’s (Cambridge) man, was guarantee for Headmaster Ikin and paid off. That he was a month my junior was hardly obvious – he was running the 2nd XV and much of the rugby, had joined his mentor Bill Melton in Hanbury and taken over his English Department, involved himself in drama, the Trident, cricket (including a staff XI called the Victorians), organised outings (including several days in Hardy country based in his own home in Bruton), knew everyone and was a much needed friend to most. Two places at Cambridge owed more to him than anybody. Briefly I was his chauffeur and side-kick.
His energy was clearly recognised by the new Headmaster and a central plank on which he would rebuild. The dynamism would focus more on the English and Drama as specialists moved in on the sports and other activities, but he still dominated the Common Room and social scene with his boundless enthusiasm, humour, wisdom and humanity. Away team coaches were quieter if he was at home but morale perhaps lower. From Hamlet to Royal Hunt, with the advent of Junior and House Plays and the involvement of Art and Music Departments, life enhancing experiences and opportunities extended to numerous boys (and some Ockbrook girls). He threw himself behind all the changes, the need to reach out, to compete with and befriend other schools, to find our place on the map, attract bright pupils and achieve results to be proud of. It was his initiative to abandon old fashioned fagging (Hanbury first), a controversial move helped forward with so much humanising of boarding life, by a seeming traditionalist who understood and cared.
His room in the tower, museum-cluttered with books and treasures, bottles, glasses and piles of marking, became an item on the school tour and a social hub, while the hostelries of Long Eaton would one day miss him (along with the off-licence and junk-store). More important when he went to Malvern in January 74, Trent was a different school and one which owed him a vast debt.
In 1987, after Simon’s own zest for new experiences led to a teaching spell in Kathmandu, Tony Maltby seized on the chance to re-employ a now nearly mature dynamo – huge fish in a bigger pond – but was sadly unable to pass the SPB legend to his successor. As Simon said, there was only one job which could tempt him away a second time, after just a year - it was in his home town where, at Kings Bruton, he became Head of English. He also resettled into the family home where he was soon to marry Jane and proudly father two daughters, Constance and Honour. Always larger than life he would eventually put his vast experience to more general use, with Ofsted, then ISI and finally as Chief Inspector of a small inspectorate, the School Inspection Service which he ran until his retirement in 2015.
Simon’s death in September came as a shock, with little warning of ill health. So much drive and enthusiasm for life came to an end so suddenly, but perhaps he would not have enjoyed slowing down.
Trident Magazine article extracts 1974 and 1988