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Bill Henderson 1920-1989

What can I say about Bill Henderson’s role in SHAP? Quite simply I doubt if SHAP would have functioned had it not been for Bill Henderson’s support and the money that he facilitated through the Spalding Trusts. In those early two years of SHAP there was very considerable opposition. Looking back now twenty years later, I think it was, in fact, a movement somewhat ahead of its day, and within academic circles there was considerable doubt, indeed straight opposition. I experienced quite a lot of that myself quite personally and directly, and when the times were bad Bill Henderson was a common voice of support. It was not only that he gave the pump priming money which facilitated the start of SHAP, which enabled us to have those early meetings, which in turn enabled us to cover teachers’ costs which would not otherwise have been met; it was also that when the going became difficult for many of us as individuals, Bill Henderson was a constant voice of support and encouragement. More than once he took me aside in a room and said ‘Keep at it; there are many of us around who believe you are doing the right thing, despite the opposition.’

Without the sort of personal encouragement, as well as the financial support, I think some of would have found it quite difficult in those early days to keep at it. I really feel quite strongly that the SHAP Working Party owes far more than it can ever imagine to Bill Henderson.

John Hinnells - Shap executive