L G Stocks
Leonard was a member of a family with numerous connections with Hurst. Two great uncles were at the college in the late 1880s. He was known as Leonard to his family, but as George at Hurst. His brother David was also at the college, as were (in more recent times) other members of the dynasty … David Saffery and Paul Wallis. He was born in 1912 and had a successful time at Hurst. His first job was with a legal insurance company in London. Some rime before the Second World War he met his future wife Irene, who worked as a secretary for his uncle. During the war he was a Paymaster lieutenant in the Royal Navy, and he soon demonstrated his organisational skills by managing to arrange for Irene to be posted to Gibraltar where he was working. They were married in the cathedral there. After the war he joined his uncle’s company, New Era Laboratories, which he subsequently inherited. He became a friend of Barbara Cartland who extolled the virtues of the company’s products. He retired to Dorset and subsequently moved to Torquay. During all this time, he never lost his connections with Hurst. He was secretary of the Hurst Johnian Club from 1946 to 1951, and president in 1960/61. There followed twenty-two years as a member of the School Council, and he was also the chairman of the Bloxham Council and Secretary of the Southern Division Benefit Fund, as well as being a fellow of the Woodard Corporation.
While most people settle for a quiet life in retirement, not he! He always retained an interest in his business, but his great triumph was in setting up a hostel in Torbay where rough sleepers could find shelter. It opened in December 1991 in a derelict council warehouse; twenty years later a £3 million purpose built hostel stands on the site, and it quite rightly bears his name. Many tributes have been paid to him for his creativity, leadership and generosity. Here is a Christian man of whom his family and Hurst are rightly proud.