Obituary: Leonard Brammer

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The Independent Online
YOUR obituary of Leonard Brammer (by Ian Lowe, 30 June) makes no reference to what I suppose must have been his principal livelihood, as a teacher, writes J. P. Leigh. I was a pupil at Longton High School for Boys from 1941 to 1949, and he seemed to us to be a permanent fixture as the art master.

Being in a grammar school did not automatically ensure that we were well-behaved. I was in his form for a while and, perhaps because of the several that were on probation and otherwise known to the police, it was not for nothing that we were called 'Ali Brammer and the 4C Thieves'. But he never had any trouble, and this natural and total control of a class was without needing to exert overt authority. This may in part be because art is intrinsically enjoyable, or perhaps because he made it so. Certainly, some of his pupils became art teachers themselves.

For the first three years, we were 'You small boys', then suddenly we jumped to being 'You big boys'. He had a friendly way, and sometimes told us of how he had observed that often teachers who worked on until retirement at 65 would die shortly after, and that he had no intention of doing the same. Whatever it was he did, it seems to have worked for him.