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Abingdon path named after the teacher who tended to it
A WELL-loved teacher and a “local institution” has been commemorated with a path named after him.
Hugh Randolph taught classics at Abingdon School for 30 years.
After retiring he became a volunteer church warden, edited the Abingdon old boys’ newsletter but still found time to weed and maintain the public path which ran past his house on Park Road.
When he died in 2006, aged 69, residents missed his diligent gardening. Town councillor Iain Littlejohn contacted the county council who agreed to rename it “Hugh’s Path”, from its original moniker “footpath 16”. The alleyway cuts through from Park Road to St Michael’s Avenue.
Mr Littlejohn said: “Hugh was a charming man, and a bit of an institution amongst mums, who walked past his house with pushchairs on the way to the park.
“He used to sit out in his garden and greet people going past – he always had time for people. He is much missed.”
Mr Randolph was born in India in 1936 into a highly esteemed family.
His ancestor John Randolph was Bishop of Oxford from 1799 to 1807, and later an Oxford professor of poetry.
The Randolph hotel is built on the site of the bishop’s palace at which John Randolph resided.
Fellow master at Abingdon Nigel Hammond paid tribute to his friend in the Old Abingdonian newsletter in 2006. He said: “Hugh was a fine example of the old-style, all-round school master.
“I recall one occasion I took him to Letcombe Bassett church to show him the Randolph window.
“He delightedly showed me his signet ring that repeated the family crest portrayed in the glass.
“Hugh was always reticent about his distinguished ecclesiastical and academic ancestors, although I did manage to inveigle from him, often by devious means, many of his connections.”
Mr Randolph taught from 1963 until his retirement in 1993, and ran the rugby fives, the police cadets and coached cricket.
After retiring, he became membership secretary of Old Abingdonians. He never married or had any children.
Abingdon School archivist Sarah Wearne said: “He wasn’t just a classicist, he was everything. He was a very beautiful man and a gentleman.”