The Lund Fund

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About David Lund.

I knew David before he taught at UCS and he arrived just when I was taking O’ levels. It was easy for him to bridge the gap between friendship and formality in the classroom because he created an ethos of collaborative learning and mutual respect. He welcomed initiatives and contributions from his class. He enthusiastically countered the dominating front-of-the-class lecture style of teaching that prevailed then. Indeed, he was never still. He plunged up and down the rows, waving his arms, often bumping into desks and never missed an opportunity to use levity to hold our attention. Explaining the technique of onomatopoeia he dryly informed us that it was what the man shouted down from his flying carpet (“I’m on-a-mat-up-‘ere”). We groaned and he flashed his wonderful smile.

David’s gentle humour had an edge. It meant that nothing pompous or pretentious could go unchallenged. His charm combined mischief with kindness and he expected you to be as full of open-minded curiosity as he was. His Sixth Form lessons were, therefore, more like seminars in which he often just skilfully facilitated discussion. It was the best of learning environments and so different to the mechanised approach to teaching that was later forced on schools and which I know he opposed.

His modesty and generosity deflected attention from his enormous talent: he was not only a brilliant and largely self-taught pianist, but also an artist of great skill. His brother Peter and he were a great double act and wrote for hugely popular comedy programmes in the 1960s.  They loved parody and wordplay. For example, one sketch mocks the dry-as-dust newsreader of the period as he drones out absurd news items, one of which was:

“Reports are coming in that Adolph Hitler has committed suicide. (Pause) Doctors describe his condition as ‘satisfactory’.”

The spirit of play may have gone into his love of learning, but as well as the jokes, he also introduced items of news into our lessons. I remember him giving an impromptu summary of the work of Bertrand Russell whose death had just been announced. He loved films and through him I came to know some of the cinema “greats”. Despite his academic background he was essentially a practical artist in many fields and wanted to bring Drama to UCS when for most of my time there it had been almost completely absent. 

Everyone reading this will feel as I do, that we need him in our lives still. Who better to confide in, share a laugh with, learn from or be gently challenged by? He deserved so much. When I last saw Peter a year or so before they both died, he raged “Life is so cruel.” It was an uncharacteristic outburst from either of them – but it was utterly justified, as we know. Peter was David’s biggest fan and he would be delighted that we are celebrating him now, preserving his spirit and showing our love.

Written by: David Harrold
Former student (left UCS 1971)

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