Soham Grammarians - Mr RJW Housden SG42 and Physics 55-60

from the 1946 School photo

from the 1949 School photo: Lionel Fleet on left

from the 1956 School photo

from the 1960 School photo: Lionel Fleet is again on the left

Dick Housden was a pupil at SGS, entering in 1942. Lionel Fleet arrived the following year and also came to teach here a year after Dick came back (is this some kind of record?).

He wrote in 2012: "I was a lecturer then Hon. Research associate at ICS (Institute of Computing Studies) Gordon Square in the 1960s. I also lectured at Birkbeck and occasionally at UCL before moving to a senior position at UEA in 1969. From there I accepted a post at the OU."

At a ceremony in Ely Cathedral in 1998 he became an Emeritus Professor in the OU and was Pro-Vice Chancellor.

Please click here for the article Tough times in the black fens by another Soham Grammarian, Mike Petty 57, about Dick's research on the Housden family in the Cambridge News, March 5th 2012. Dick's book A Journey Through Family History is published by the Norwich Living History Group

That article was spotted by Colin Fuller SG51: "I knew Dick as a young man as well as when he was my Maths teacher in my later years at SGS. As a young man he was known by me for his bell-ringing (campanology) at Burwell St Mary's Church. He would in the Winter load a lorry with sugar beet as well as doing bell-ringing on a Sunday morning. He taught me, John Brown, Michael Goodchild and David Reader."

Soham Grammarian Summer 1951

RWJ Housden has recovered from his illness and has now been invalided out of the RA. He will be going up to Selwyn College, Cambridge, in October.

Soham Grammarian New Year 1956

Here we would like to record our necessarily belated but equally cordial welcome to Mr Housden and Mr Jones as assistant Mathematics and English masters respectively; a happy circumstance in Mr Housden's appointment is the fact that he is an Old Boy. [Dick Housden joined the staff in September 1955].

Soham Grammarian Summer 1960

Sadly we record that Mr Waller and Mr Housden will be leaving us at the end of this term. Mr Housden's activities in association with Campanology will be remembered for a long time to come.

In 1983 Dick Housden was Professor R Housden, Computing Discipline, Faculty of Mathematics, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes (source: New Scientist 26 May 1983).

Andrew Smith SG60 writes (20 Jan 2024): I am writing a history of my family and I had a note in the draft to make reference to Dick Housden. He lived in Burwell, as I did, and was brought up by his single mother after his father died in 1939 aged only 30.  The website refers to his sugar beet loading job which would almost certainly have been for my father Percy Smith, because Dick worked for him at weekends and on vacations from Cambridge to which he cycled every day from Burwell.

I have seen someone’s family tree online at Ancestry which says he was born October 1931 and died 6 June 2016 but I have not been able to confirm those details.

If you can add memories of Mr Housden or provide other photos of him, please contact the editor.

page last updated 13 Mar 12: 28 Oct 19: 1 Jun 2024