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News > Deaths and Obituaries > Obituary - David Leiper (1960 L)

Obituary - David Leiper (1960 L)

David sadly passed away on 24th April 2020. This obituary has been written by his friend at SVS, Iain Wyness (1960 L).
During his time at Sutton Valence the subject that we now know as information and communications technology was not offered within the curriculum.  David demonstrated an obvious talent and interest in electronics and founded the Electrical Society operating from a room beneath the Sanatorium. He coached some in the intricacies of the wiring and valve use in radio receivers. One of his memorable demonstrations included the mysterious acquisition of several television cathode ray tubes which he arranged on the lawn behind the Sanatorium. Each was connected with a coil of copper wire which heated when connected to a high amperage current, resulting in the dramatic sequential implosion of each tube, closely resembling the firing of a sub-machine gun. Other acquisitions included ex-Army and ex-RAF transmitter / receivers. With these David began the famous broadcasts of Radio Bogbrush, which included the Westminster Sextet led by Alan Noah playing jazz with Alan acting as DJ. The broadcasts proved very popular throughout the School, the Village and further afield. Inevitably it provoked the eventual arrival of the forces of law and order in the form of The Post Office, then the responsible authority for ensuring the legality of radio transmissions. Thus, Radio Bogbrush met an abrupt and much lamented demise.
 
David also had musical ability and contributed to the School orchestra in the woodwind section.
 
On leaving Sutton Valence David pursued his studies in electronics. Subsequently he commenced employment with Decca. His obvious ability was recognized early and he was involved in the experimental stages of colour television transmission. He also contributed to the design of military aircraft radar systems. He was head-hunted by a number of international companies. In his professional capacity he travelled widely and acquired a fluency in French with a passable knowledge of other European languages, including Russian. He was in demand as a speaker on complex technical matters in electronics.
 
Latterly he set up his own business, Innovative Electronic Technology. His company was so successful that eventually it was bought out by a large rival firm.
 
David still found time for competitive equine pursuits including trials and dressage. He kept horses for some years. His other interests included motor sport: he was in his element tweaking engines to squeeze an extra ounce of speed.
 
After his retirement David took up playing the electric organ and entered national amateur competitions.
 
For some years he had suffered from leukaemia but he was able to manage it without any major influence on his activities. However, he was diagnosed last year with pancreatic cancer. The result was inevitable but he stoically approached it with fortitude.
 
He leaves a son and daughter and two grandchildren.

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