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Malcolm Stephen Fry (1950 – 2017)

Malcolm Fry was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, on 29th August 1950 and attended the Bishop Wordsworth Boys’ Grammar School in Salisbury before going up to Nottingham University to read Geology with subsidiary Geography and Philosophy.  He graduated with honours in 1971 and went on to University College Wales in Aberystwyth to gain his PGCE.

His teaching career began in September 1972 at St. Albans Grammar School (now Verulam School) in Hertfordshire.  In February 1973, shortly after taking up this post, Malcolm met his wife-to-be, Sue, at a party in St. Albans.  They married in April 1974 and in 1976 they moved to Scunthorpe where Malcolm had accepted a post within the Geography Department of John Leggott Sixth Form College with responsibility for leading and developing the teaching of A-Level Geology.  Under his leadership the JLC contribution to geology teaching was unparalleled in the region and his legacy remains in the form of a still-thriving department.  One of his former students, Mike Widdowson, now on the teaching staff at Hull University, wrote of Malcolm’s influence: “All this from a humble beginning in Scunthorpe - sparked by an inspirational A-level teacher telling a raw 17/18 year old what can be possible. It was! Thank you Malc - you're a true 'geo-star'!”

Malcolm’s success had seen him promoted to a senior management position at John Leggott College.  He was a keen gardener and conservationist and in his spare time he was a volunteer for the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust.  His retirement in 2012 allowed him the time to combine his interest and skills in conservation, geology and education.  He was a member of the Geoconservation Group of the Greater Lincolnshire Nature Partnership, helped with the running of a small but enthusiastic geology group in Brigg and was elected to the Council of the Yorkshire Geological Society in December 2016.  Typically Malcolm requested that his position on YGS Council should have a specific role; he agreed to take responsibility for coordinating a database of geosites within the Society’s footprint.

I was privileged to have worked with Malcolm during the past four or five years.  We discovered together the beauty of the Lincolnshire landscape and its geological treasures and were determined to bring these discoveries to the attention of the general public.  We had also put together, and delivered successfully, a presentation on “A Geologist’s Perspective on Fracking”.  Malcolm had completed a “Building Stones of Lincolnshire” information leaflet and represented the Geoconservation Group at the Lincolnshire Show.  Though Malcolm was a Scottish Highlands hard rock fan, I was making some headway in convincing him that the Chalk was worth some attention.

Malcolm Fry

Malcolm Fry on William Smith Trail in Scarborough.

Malcolm died at 4pm on Monday 19th June 2017 in Scunthorpe Hospital and is survived by his wife, Sue, daughter, Hannah and granddaughter Ola.

Paul Hildreth August2017


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