Harrogate’s Ashville College has paid tribute to Michael Crosby, its seventh Headmaster, who died on Thursday, April 11, 2019. He was 74.
During his headmastership from 1987 to 2003, Ashville experienced significant widespread change, with growth in all areas and several new buildings which are now universally accepted but at the time were radically new: the Music and Drama centre, an expanded boarding house for girls and, above all, the Sixth Form Centre.
Pre Prep began in Michael’s time, initially as part of Junior School, before its own building was constructed.
Michael and his wife Dianne, along with their two children Helen, who became a Red Tie prefect, and Peter, who became a Green Tie prefect, were involved with all aspects of Ashville and the Ashvillian community.
He encouraged Ashville to look outward, raising tens of thousands of pounds for domestic and overseas causes, especially Open Arms Malawi. He encouraged overseas tours to widen experiences, even taking part in a Great War Battlefields Tour which involved him plodding through muddy trenches near Ypres.
Shortly into his retirement Michael was diagnosed with cancer which he faced with great dignity and courage. His broad Christianity was a key feature of his appreciation of everyone he met. Ashville owes him deep respect and gratitude – without him, many aspects of current school life would be missing.
Headmaster Richard Marshall said:
Whilst I did not have the privilege of knowing Michael personally, I am well aware of his fine standing within the Ashville Community and the great affection our Ashville family has for Michael.
He will be greatly missed, and we extend our condolences to Dianne, Helen and Peter and their families as they and we come to terms with their loss.
Jamie Search, chair of governors, said:
Michael worked with my father, as then chair at Ashville, so I know first-hand the enormous dedication Michael gave to the school.
He always strived to make things better for all at Ashville, pupils and staff alike. Our thoughts and prayers are with all his family at this difficult time.