Lasting memorial will honour much loved teacher

The school where the teacher who died in a tragic mountain climbing accident taught is planning a permanent memorial in his honour.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 9th January 2017, 3:45 pm
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 3:51 pm
Tributes have been flooding in for loved and respected teacher Mark Bowling who died in a tragic climbing accident.
Tributes have been flooding in for loved and respected teacher Mark Bowling who died in a tragic climbing accident.

News of the tribute was announced by Mr David Burton, the headteacher at Sir John Thursby Community College, in memory of Mr Mark Bowling, the graphic design teacher who died during a climbing expedition on one of Britain's highest mountains.

The school also opened a book of condolence for pupils and staff, past and present, to pay their respects to Mr Bowling who died instantly when he fell hundreds of feet as he descended the 4,048ft summit of Aonach Beag, near the town of Fort William in the Scottish Highlands last Thursday.

Paying tribute to the father of four as a "special man in our community" Mr Burton said: "Mr Bowling was a much-loved and respected dear friend, teacher, colleague and form tutor and we are all devastated by his tragic death.

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"We are supporting Mr Bowling's family and friends as best we can. All students and staff have been informed in special assemblies with a period of silence and reflection and we have support available to both students and staff.

"Our students and staff are so sad that Mr Bowling has died but we are all so thankful to have known him."

Mr Bowling (52) was an experienced and expert climber who pursued his hobby with a great passion. His other interest was photography and he had published a number of books featuring images he had taken on a variety of mountain climbs.

Emergency services told Mr Bowling's family that he had been using all the correct equipment and was doing everything right but he just lost his footing and fell. He was climbing with a friend who managed to contact emergency services and the Lochaber Mountain Mountain Rescue Team who raced to help and Mr Bowling was airlifted to hospital.

Mr Bowling was a former pupil of Burnley Grammar School and he also previously taught at Colne’s Fisher More RC High School.

Not a big fan of social media, it is perhaps ironic that facebook has been swamped with heartfelt tributes to Mr Bowling and messages of love and support to his family.

These include: Chanelle Wilkins: "What a lovely, kind hearted teacher who helped me so much during my time at Sir John Thursby. A very funny person who got along with anyone. One top guy. Gone but not forgotten."

Molly Mae Kinnane:"Absolute legend, loved winding each other up and having banter with him at school and even after I left. Devastated for you and your family. Truly truly a great man."

Anya Gillett: "He was such a lovely man."

Niomi Latif: " A lovely man, dad and teacher."

Phil Ewens-Wheat: " An awesome guy, he will be missed by all who knew him. Rest in peace Mark."

Kezia Brown:"He helped me so much when I was being bullied and for that I will always be so grateful. So sorry for your loss of an amazing man."

Molly Smith: "I can't believe it. He was the best teacher and an awesome guy!"

Ben Sutcliffe:" Mark was a fantastic man."

Joanna Holt:"He was the best teacher and such a lovely man.

Glen Abbott: "He was an amazing and funny teacher."

Kate Dean: "I worked at Fisher More with Mark. He was great."

Devan Broadbent: "Isometric drawing would never have been possible for me to do without this amazing man, he used to spend hours with me doing it... RIP Mr Bowling."

Jemma Sunter: "He was a fab teacher and a great laugh during lessons."

Saba Saeed:" He was a great teacher."

Mara Lane: "My DT teacher who helped me a lot over the three years I was at that school. R.I.P Mr Bowling, you will be missed by everyone at school."