Earlier this week, one of the first e-mails to be received by GA staff after the Christmas break was the sad news that Dr Rex Walford, OBE & President of the GA in 1983-4 was missing after a boat accident in the Thames over the Christmas period.
Rex was one of the most influential post-war geographers and few teachers will have been unaware of his work, or gone through their career without encountering his huge contribution to geography education.
Image copyright Bryan Ledgard - Rex and Fred Martin at the official opening of Solly Street
My first introduction was in the form of the idea of Games in Geography, guided by my PGCE tutor, the late Vincent Tidswell. As a gamer myself, I enjoyed developing some of my own variations on Rex's ideas, and remember the contributions that Rex made to Teaching Geography.
I met Rex numerous times as he visited Cambridge University PGCE colleagues who had their placement in my school through the 1990s.
More recently, we met again at Madingley Hall for the 2010 Geography Teacher Educators' Conference, where I was privileged to hear him talk through his involvement in the famous lecture series in the 1960s, and showed documents from his remarkable archive. He was also present at the recent official opening of Solly Street, and can be seen on the front cover of the most recent issue of GA Magazine. He was also one of the many influential faces from Geography's past (and future) who attended a recent seminar at the Institute of Education.
Yesterday, I went down into the GA warehouse, and read through the issues of Teaching Geography from the time of Rex's GA presidency. One of the articles was by Rex himself on the issue of Marking in geography, and contained useful advice, written back in 1984, which still holds true today...
Article by Rex from Teaching Geography, 1984
A brief message by Professor David Lambert has been added to the GA website - there will be a fuller remembrance in future GA journals and events.
You can comment on the message on the GA website if you want to add your own messages to remember Rex. There are already plenty of messages on the website.