In Celebration of

Robert Lochrie

10 January 1940 -  26 January 2018

Surrounded by family Robert Lochrie has passed peacefully away on 26 January 2018


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Alan Wells (Friend)

Written on 04 February 2018 from London

I didn’t know Robert that well but Margaret has been my good friend for some years. However, I had a pint or so with Robert at conferences when he was at the WEA and you couldn’t doubt his passion for education, particularly adult education. Approachable and a kind man to someone relatively junior at the time. I also saw rather more closely how Margret cared for Robert though his long and draining illnesses. Great devotion.

Mike Ford (Friend)

Written on 04 February 2018 from East Molesey


Though I knew you for a short time it was a pleasure being in your company. I only wish I had known you longer and in better health.

Rest in peace.


George Greig (W.E.A, Tutor Organiser,West of Scotland)

Written on 05 February 2018 from Dunbar,East Lothian

So sorry to hear of Robert's demise.He was of great help to me when i first worked for the W.E.A..Very much enjoyed his company after work meetings and other social events.May he rest in peace.

Ursula Child (Friend)

Written on 05 February 2018 from East Molesey

I saw Robert for the last time about a year ago when he had just come out of hospital. His legs were swollen, but he was in good spirits and talked enthusiastically about his passion, the opera. Since I never saw him when he was really unwell, I will always remember him the way he was: engaging, humorous, cheerful and above all, always with a sparkle in his eyes.

Dan Gaallin (Friend, Colleague)

Written on 06 February 2018 from Carouge (Geneva), Switzerland

Please accept my heatfelt condolences on the death of £Robert. I had the pleasure and privilege to work with him for several years when I served as president of the International Federation of Workers' Eduation Associations.

Robert was a man of the highest integrity and pf steadfast convictions as well as a warm friend. I missed his company in later years and will always remember him as a valued friend and comrade.

Life Stories 

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Alan Tuckett (Former Colleague)

Written on 13 February 2018 from Leicester

After work as a District Secretary, managing relations with full time tutorial staff, voluntary branch secretaries, and passionately committed tutors, Robert was appointed General Secretary of the Workers’ Educational Association – the UK’s leading voluntary sector organisation committed to the education of adults. It was a role Robert filled with distinction, seeing the organisation through extremely tough times, when the Conservative government of the day was actively considering ending the WEA’s national grant as a Recognised Body, and indeed to end funding for liberal adult education altogether. Robert had to steer a way through government’s insistence that if it was to continue support it needed to be with a single body accountable for all its actions, and at the same time with members fiercely committed to their local independence., to respect the democratic dynamic of the WEA, yet to secure its survival. It was a task that Robert accomplished, using skills forged in the sometimes tough environment of working class Glasgow – a combination of negotiating skills, robustness, resilience, passion and from time to time a touch of obduracy. It was a job, Margaret also faced, equally successfully in her time leading the Pre School Learning Alliance.
Robert moved on to make a significant contribution to the wider case for adult education around the time of the 1992 legislation that nationalised so much of further education. Overall, Robert left the WEA stronger than he found it, including leading it through its first successful national inspection.
Robert was an active member of the executive of the national institute of Adult Education when I was appointed to lead it. In this role he combined strong support for its overall direction with firm challenge when he felt it was diverting from its task.
Robert was deeply committed to adult education and its emancipatory capacity to support people in changing their lives, individually and collectively, to foster love of the arts, to develop the skills for informed, critical and active citizenship in the workplace and the wider society. In this he was both enlightened educator and the very best sort of street fighter, and I admired him.


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