In Memory of Nigel Heard

Obituary submitted by Barry Carter

We are sad to report that Dr Nigel Heard, Former Head of Humanities at Oxford Brookes University, died peacefully on 31st December 2012.

"When Nigel Heard, along with his colleague John Brooks, transferred from Lady Spencer-Churchill College to the Polytechnic's History group in 1976, it was join historians who themselves had been but recently drawn from different areas of the Polytechnic and its predecessor.The variety of specialisms, ideological positions and personalities made for a challenging environment! Nigel soon took a leading role in the time-consuming, often contentious and always detailed work of leading the emerging History Field and in preparing degree submissions for the CNAA. Later, his hard work and diplomatic skills were rewarded with the Headship of The Department of Humanities with its three Fields. He brought to his teaching, Field and Departmental roles good humour, fair-mindedness and a sense of proportion. Differences of opinion with him were never personalised nor allowed to damage what he regarded as the greater good of the field, the department and the university."

"Nigel was the author of several books, on East Anglia from whence he came, and on the early modern period. He was also a life-long gardener, both very energetic and very knowledgeable. Colleagues knew that his wife Judith and daughters were central to his life and outlook, and when we bade him farewell at his retirement in 1993 it was clear that he was looking forward to spending more time with them, his garden and in travel. Despite the onset of a major illness in recent years it is good to know that he did, indeed, enjoy a happy a fruitful retirement."

"Nigel Heard contributed significantly to his discipline, and was a good colleague."

Private cremation will take place at Oxford Crematorium on 24th January 2013. No flowers please. Contact David Floyd, 12 Heath Estate, Great Waldingfield, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 OTZ or email if you wish to make a donation for a commemorative tree.