On Friday 6th February family, friends, colleagues and associates came together at a Memorial Event hosted by the International Centre for Historical Research in Education at UCL Institute of Education, in association with the UK History of Education Society, to celebrate the life, work and legacy of the late Professor Richard Aldrich, Emeritus Professor of History at the IOE.
Professor Steve Hodkinson, BFSS Chair, reflected on Professor Aldrich’s contribution as BFSS’s Vice-President from 2011 until he stepped down due to ill health in July 2014. He said:
‘Richard was BFSS’s first ‘working’ Vice-President. His election reflected the BFSS Council’s wish to move to a single VP who would not only be interested in the history of a 200 years old Society but who would also help the Society to respect those historical roots and to play a part in its renewal for the 21st century.’
‘Richard was closely linked to the Society and some of its leading members for many years. In May 1998 he was invited by the BFSS to give the Joseph Lancaster/Borough Road Bicentenary lecture here at the Institute of Education. The notes for that lecture had been filed away in the Society’s offices since then and I am delighted to say that Richard’s family has given the Society permission to publish that lecture in honour of Richard’s work for the Society.’
‘For 3.5 years, Richard brought to our work commitment, expertise, attention to detail, and a willingness to observe, and to listen. He attended meetings of the Council, advised us on delicate issues, proof read the Society’s Annual Review of Grant-Giving brochures, contributed to the Society’s strategic review sessions and attended meetings with the Society’s President David Lammy to prepare for AGMs. He was a significant member of the Society’s Heritage and Archives Working Group that advised on the gift of the Archive to Brunel University and the sale of its collection of bibles in 2013. And of course he represented the Society externally, for example by presenting donation cheques to projects in the London area.
All of this was carried out in Richard’s ‘gentle’, ‘supportive’ and ‘caring’ style. He was indeed a ‘working VP’ and will be a hard act to follow.’