We have recently heard the news that Francis Whittington died after a brief illness in Inverness Hospital on the 19th November 2021. Francis was the mainstay of the Chemistry department at Friends’ for 26 years. He was a most kind and gentle teacher - steeped in Quaker values. Former colleagues and pupils who were taught by him or went on trips to Germany with him will have fond memories of him.
Since retirement Francis had been living on the West coast of Scotland. Our thoughts at this sad time are very much with his wife Janet and his two daughters Helen (YG 85) and Rachel (YG 87).
Do have a look at the many kind comments about Francis on the Old Scholars' Facebook page
(only members of the Facebook page will be able to access this group - if you are an Old Scholar and want to join, please do!).
This is an extract from Mike Hibbs (YG 72) of the Liberal Democrats in Saffron Walden to their members: "We have recently heard the sad news that Francis Whittington has passed away. He was for many years a very active member of the Liberal Democrats, and was elected to Saffron Walden Town Council in 1991. He was Mayor of Saffron Walden in 1997/98, a role he fulfilled with gravitas and enthusiasm. As a member of the Society of Friends he broke with tradition at his Mayor Making by holding a Meeting for Worship in the Quaker Meeting House (and not St Mary's Church), where all Councillors were requested to leave their robes and chains of office in the cloakroom.
Francis taught Chemistry at Friends' School where his nickname was Professor Calculus - after the character in the Tintin books. He taught me when I was a pupil, and was still teaching there many years later when my step-daughter was doing her GCSEs. He was one of the kindest, most caring, and supportive teachers I have ever known."
Below is a photo of Francis with his Year 11y form group in September 1992.