Douglas Horne 1917-2011

John DennisA Thanksgiving Service for the life of Douglas Horne will be held at Christ Church, Guisborough Road, Great Ayton on Friday the 15th April 2011 at 2pm.  Refreshments will be served in the Parochial Hall after the service. 

Please pass this invitation on to anyone else who might be interested in coming.


It is with regret that the only communication that I have had directly with the AOSA in recent years, is to be the bearer of sad news.

Charles Douglas Horne – 21st September 1917 – 4th February 2011 aged 93.

My father, Douglas Horne died on Thursday 4th February in Suffolk where he was living with my brother, Charles, having moved there following a stroke in 2009. He died after a short illness surrounded by his family.

Douglas will be remembered by many at Ayton and the Old Scholars Association. He followed his brother Peter to Ayton at 13, after Peter was tragically killed in a motor cycle accident. His parents donated a swimming Cup in Peter’s name. This was returned to us after Ayton School closed. He was at Ayton for 4 years where he was a keen sportsman. He worked all his life in Middlesbrough in the family Electrical Engineering business, C. Horne & Co. He was a prominent member of the business community and was a member of the Round Table and Rotary Club acting as both Chairman for each of these organisations.  He could be often seen at Christmas standing in Middlesbrough Town Centre collecting money for charity.

He had a passion for golf and in retirement, played regularly at Brass Castle Golf Club in Middlesbrough. He was a long standing member, Club Captain, Chairman and Trustee. He was still playing at least twice a week in his nineties!

As children, we spent many Old Scholars’ weekends playing in the Beck and picnicking on Bottom Field. So it was not surprising that my brother, Charles and I attended Ayton. My older sister, Patricia went to school at the Mount in York.  Ayton suited Charles and I and we thrived in the John Reader era.

Douglas loved Ayton School, its ethos and values. In his time, he was Old Scholars President and a member of the Old Scholars Committee for many years. It is only since his stroke , that he has not been an ardent and regular attender of Old Scholars’ Weekends.

Although not a Quaker, he embraced the sense of community that the Friends brought and spent many good years supporting the school and Old Scholars’. He made many lifelong friends at Ayton and valued them deeply.

He was saddened at the closure and the sale of Ayton School after fighting desperately to keep it open despite seeing the inevitable need to do so. He spent 20 years living in the village enjoying village life particularly after his wife, Freda died.  The bungalow had stunning views towards Cook’s and Roseberry Topping and you could just see the school clock and hear its chime which were a constant reminder of school days.

He will be sadly missed by both family and friends for his generosity and sense of humour as well as being a true gentlemen to the end.

I am sure others will have many memories of Douglas and will be able to add further to this tribute.

Above is a more recent photograph, below is finding a school photo of Douglas found by his brother Charles from 1930.

Best Wishes