Lionel Hart - former college teacher dies

A FORMER teacher and stalwart of the Soham community has died. Lionel Hart, who was born in Marks Tey, Essex, came to Soham to teach French at the old Grammar School after completing a degree at Leeds University. He went on to become head of languages the

A FORMER teacher and stalwart of the Soham community has died.

Lionel Hart, who was born in Marks Tey, Essex, came to Soham to teach French at the old Grammar School after completing a degree at Leeds University. He went on to become head of languages then head of the Lower School.

Robert Medlock, a pupil at the school, said: "Mr Hart gave me a life-long love of languages and cultures. His example and encouragement inspired me to pursue my own career in foreign languages.

"Those individuals who devote the whole of their professional lives to providing education demonstrate a very special degree of dedication. Lionel Hart was one such individual."

Mr Hart's involvement in Soham community life continued outside his job. He was a member of Soham Staploe Rotary Club and a former president.

After retiring from Soham Village College in 1992, Mr Hart, who died on September 22, joined the town council and East Cambridgeshire District Council. He campaigned for the re-opening of Soham Railway Station, and founded Soham Community History Museum in June 1998.

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In 2002, Mr Hart, who was the only child of blind parents, suffered a stroke. After treatment at the Princess of Wales Hospital he was cared for at Mabbs Hall in Mildenhall.