School’s tribute to ‘loved and valued’ teacher killed by lightning

Robin Meakings. Copyright: Wales News Service 030915_Lightning_Death
Robin Meakings. Copyright: Wales News Service 030915_Lightning_Death

Forest School has paid tribute to a member of staff who was killed by a lightning strike while hiking in the Brecon Beacons.

Robin Meakings, 59, from Pulborough, was working as a study supervisor and tutor at Forest School in Horsham.

Yesterday, Powys Coroner Andrew Barkley concluded that he had died because of ‘exceptional weather circumstances’ that could not have been prevented.

Today (Friday September 4) Forest School issued a tribute to Mr Meakings.

“Everyone here at Forest was devastated to lose a loved and valued colleague in such a tragic way,” it said.

“He had been with us for almost three years and had quickly established himself as a valued member of staff.

“After an initial career in the army as an engineer and instructor, Robin retrained as a teacher. He retired from his job as a Design and Technology teacher in another school several years ago and joined us as a Study Supervisor and tutor. Since he started with us he has taken on many roles within the school, most recently taking charge of our Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme. Robin was due to lead our current D of E cohort on their expedition the weekend following his sudden death; He had worked particularly closely with many of these boys, who felt his loss deeply.

He was an avid football fan, and a lifelong supporter of Fulham FC. Woe betide the member of staff who made the mistake of taking his Fulham mug from the staff room!

To quote Chaucer, Robin ‘was a veray parfit gentil knight.’ Firm with pupils when he needed to be, he was also caring and understanding and rarely had to raise his voice. He was respected by pupils and staff alike and is deeply missed.”

Cliff Purvis, Chair of Governors at the school, was one of the many colleagues who attended Robin’s funeral in the summer holidays.

“Although I did not know Robin personally, I was touched by the high regard in which many of his fellow colleagues held him,” he said.

“He was clearly someone who people warmed to on first meeting and whose kind and supportive personality drew people to him.”

The Forest School statement said: “Robin leaves behind a partner of long-standing and two grown-up children.

“He loved walking and we console ourselves here with the thought that he was doing what he enjoyed most.”

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