Towlson, Dr Clifford William

Born in Norwich on 3 July 1889 and brought up an Anglican. After graduating at Oxford he spent nearly 40 years teaching in Yorkshire, at Northallerton,and Skipton and at Woodhouse Grove School, where he was headmaster from 1922 to 1940. He became a Methodist and a local preacher, and taught voice-production at Headingley College. He held many other offices in the church, and was Vice-President of theConference in 1950. He used his musical gifts as a member of the committees which produced the 1933 Methodist Hymn Book and the School Hymn-book of 1951 and was President of the Methodist Church Music Society. His thesis for the London PhD was published as Moravian and Methodist (1957). He died at Pudsey, Wharfedale on 25 June 1963.


'He came to the Grove in 1922 at a most difficult time. To a small boy his outstanding characteristics were his friendliness and his humour. Particularly did he appeal to us in his sermons in the school chapel, which were never more than 10 minutes long… He very soon identified himself with the school and endeared himself to us by his gentle progressiveness. He was not a new broom come to sweep away all our cherished traditions. Such changes as he made were introduced slowly and with consideration.'

JT in The Times, 2 July 1963

  • Times, 27 June 1963, 2 July 1963
  • Methodist Recorder, 13 July 1950; 4 July 1963
  • Conference Handbook, 1950