Mr Stephen Russell Cross (OS Former Member of Staff 1980-2005)
Stockport Grammar School was saddened to receive the news that Former Member of Staff, Mr Stephen R. Cross, passed away on 15th November 2021.
Stephen taught in the History Department at Stockport Grammar School for a period of 25 years, between 1980-2005.
The School was informed by Chris Muscutt, Governor.
Old Stopfordian Sarah Johnson (OS 1994) recalls:
Mr Cross really was one of my favourite teachers and instilled my huge passion for History. A teacher that really cannot be forgotten by any of his pupils. I’ll never forget one of our first lessons when he was explaining that we must always do our homework. He said he would never accept the excuse of “I haven’t done my homework” and should always come up with an reason for not doing it even if the made-up excuse was “the squirrel ate it”. He was so random but absolutely unforgettable!
A tribute by Old Stopfordian, Dr Karl Walsh (OS 2006):
Stephen, was my former history teacher and friend.
I was 12 years of age, in the class of 2Q when I first encountered Mr Stephen Cross (the self-proclaimed ‘Emperor of Woodsmoor’) and we remained in contact since I left Stockport Grammar School in 2006 until his recent passing.
I write with sadness of his passing in view of the impact he had on me since my school days. He was the best teacher I had and he certainly had a unique teaching style. This varied from meticulous planned lectures, re-enacting moments of world history or walking to lunch in historical military uniform. He however was more than just a teacher, but a friend at a time in my third year when our year group lost our dear friend Richard Cawley, who Stephen was Richard’s form tutor at the time (the class of 3T).
I felt that Stephen instilled in me from a young age, the acceptance of thinking differently, his encouragement of eccentricity and maintaining an insatiable desire to persistently learn. But equally as important is maintaining self-discipline to achieve and maintain self-respect and dignity, more so when times are less favourable. This has certainly been influential during key moments in my surgical training.
Stephen and I kept in contact through phone calls, letters and visits down to Ipswich. Throughout the last years of his life Stephen remained stoic, dignified with an unbreakable spirit. This was a true representation of who he was as a person. Although Stephen has gone, he will be remembered fondly.
Dr Karl Walsh, Mr Stephen Cross & Nayuri (Karl’s partner)
Karl Walsh (OS 2006), Burns and Plastic Surgery Senior Registrar, Manchester University Foundation Trust.
Old Stopfordian Katie Jenner (OS 2005) shares:
I will always remember my first history lesson with him. He said there was no such thing AS black or white personalities in history; a truism that has stayed with me for life. He was a special teacher, if somewhat cavalier, but characters like him are few and far between! He encouraged me right from the start, and was always was around for a chat. He was the first person to suggest I aim for oxbridge when I was in my first year. Without that seed planted, I would never have considered it, especially being from a family who had never gone to university. Anyone who was taught by him will not help but remember his chalk board drawings, reputation as the “emperor of the Woodsmoor block”, and Basil Brush obsession. If you were lucky enough to catch him on his weekend lunch at Bella Italia in Manchester, all the better! The best educators teach you how to think, not what to know, and he exemplified this quality in abundance.
A tribute page has been set up in memory of Stephen, which you can access here: https://stephen-russell-cross.muchloved.com/