Tributes pour in for former headmaster of Bedford Modern Junior School

Nick Yelland.
Nick Yelland.

Tributes have been paid to former headmaster of Bedford Modern Junior School, Nick Yelland, who has died at the age of 62.

Nick retired as headmaster of Bedford Modern Junior School at the end of the summer term 2011 after 20 years’ dedicated service. He was only the third headmaster of the Junior School since 1948.

A statement from the school said: “It is with great sadness that Bedford Modern School learned of the untimely death of former Bedford Modern Junior School Headmaster, Nick Yelland, on December 20, 2013.

“He was a tremendously kind and caring man who made a huge contribution to the lives of so many pupils during their time in the Junior School, always having a sense of humour and time for everyone. He will be sadly missed by the whole Bedford Modern School community including current and former staff, pupils, parents and governors.

“Nick established the Junior School as an important part of BMS and helped people to understand how crucial it was for the school’s future for it to be thriving.

“Another key achievement of Nick’s was the smooth implementation of co-education in 2003 and its continuing success culminating in the tenth anniversary of co-education in 2013.

“One of the things Nick enjoyed most about his role was being with the children, talking to them and getting to know them. He found it particularly rewarding to see children progress through the school and achieve success in their A Levels and beyond.

“Nick left the Junior School in a good, strong and healthy position and played a huge part in building the confidence of the children in his care by giving them a feeling of security.”

Joanna Rex, current head of Bedford Modern Junior School said: “Having worked with Nick for 19 years, with 10 years as his deputy, I will always remember him for his dedication to the job and for the fun and laughter we shared.”

Michael Hall, Bedford Modern School headmaster added: “Nick was the embodiment of the BMS community’s spirit and culture: happy, caring and passionate about a truly holistic education.

“He will be sorely missed, although we can all remember him with fondness and a smile!”

Nick is survived by his wife and two children.

His funeral was held at Bedford Crematorium on Wednesday, January 8.