Tributes paid to stalwarts of Uppingham School

Former Uppingham School housemaster Brian Stokes. EMN-140430-120625001
Former Uppingham School housemaster Brian Stokes. EMN-140430-120625001
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Tributes have been paid to two stalwarts of Uppingham School who passed away recently.

Dr Stephen Winkley, who was headmaster at the school for 15 years, and Brian Stokes, who served as a housemaster and head of English during a long career, have sadly died.

The school and friends and family members of the pair have remembered their lives with great fondness.

Dr Winkley joined Uppingham School in 1991.

He was a founder member of the Boarding Education Alliance, the first concerted effort by a large group of boarding schools to change public and parental perceptions of modern boarding through a public relations campaign lasting three years.

Dr Winkley retired from his position at the school in 2006. He then came out of retirement to take over the reins of Rossall School in Lancashire in 2008.

After more than 40 years working in the independent education sector, in 2011 he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Married to Jenny, he had sons Leo and Mungo and daughters, Imogen, Isabella and Jess.

Dr Winkley died on April 3 following a short illness at the age of 69.

Current Uppingham School headmaster Richard Harman said: “Those who know Uppingham will be aware of the impact Stephen had on the school during his 15 years of dedicated service as headmaster. Amongst many significant developments he oversaw the introduction of full co-education to the school in 2001.

“He was an inspirational character and his name will live on as one of Uppingham’s great headmasters. Our thoughts and prayers are with Stephen’s family.”

Mr Stokes started teaching at Haileybury in Hertford, after National Service in the Royal Artillery and three years at Oxford University. He joined Uppingham in 1956, where he spent the rest of his career, serving with great distinction to become a housemaster for 15 years, and head of English. In that time, he produced and acted in many school plays.

In retirement, he created Music in Lyddington, a society which has continued to grow in strength and reputation, attracting musicians of international standing. He also maintained his connections with Uppingham by writing and producing plays for the Uppingham Theatre Company.

Mr Stokes passed away on March 26 after a short battle against cancer, aged 85.

Mr Harman said: “Brian is remembered with great fondness by so many of those he taught and cared for. We appreciate all he contributed to the school and the area in his lifetime. Our thoughts are with his wife Pam and children Nigel and Caroline. He will be greatly missed by them, by his former pupils and colleagues and by the local community.”