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News > News from The Old Place > How a Worthian wiped out power to St Helens

How a Worthian wiped out power to St Helens

The escapades of former teacher Dennis Crozier
The escapades of former teacher Dennis Crozier

Among a lifetime of adventures, the tale of a Worthian wiping out the electricity supply to a town in the North West is quite remarkable.

The School recently heard from Malcolm Crozier regarding his father Dennis who taught Science at Worth for a short period during the 1960s.

During the Second World War, Dennis flew Typhoon fighters and flight rocket launchers from this aircraft type to attack trains, tanks and large installations. He was posted as an intelligence officer and photographic interpreter to Hong Kong on 1944.

However, his moment of infamy, or rather a fortunate escape, came back on home soil. His son Malcolm explained: “Pilots always seem to like to fly under things – bridges, electricity pylons etc., and my father was no different. However, during one of these escapades, he accidentally caught a wire with the tail plane and took out the electricity supply to St Helens.

“Demoted for this he had to rise up the ranks again. The secret is to perfect the art of not being caught – and he never was again!”

A newspaper report of the time, pictured, described it as a “million to one chance of escape” and went on to report: “Though the heavy cables are only twelve feet apart, he sent the plane through them without touching the nearest and brought down only two wires with his tail as he emerged on the other side.  The plane carried on apparently without inconvenience, but people depending on electric cookers for dinner had to wait some hours before the service was restored.

“The accident had the effect of bringing to a sudden standstill, as if by the wave of a magician’s wand, the trolley buses running in a nearby town.”

It is always a joy at Worth to hear from former students or staff and it was lovely when Malcolm got in touch to tell us about his father. Dennis taught at Worth for two years after moving back to the UK from Trinidad in 1966 and he lived on campus at Stone Cottages.

After leaving Worth he returned to the Caribbean, taking up the position as principal at a private boarding school in Barbados. Dennis remained there until 1975 and, after a year teaching in British Columbia, he co-founded a school in St Maarten, West Indies. With his wife, he stayed there until 1989 before retiring to Whitley Bay. He passed away in 1996 having had a very adventurous life.

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