Bird, Dennis L. 1930-2005

views updated

BIRD, Dennis L. 1930-2005

(Dennis Leslie Bird, John Noel)

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born November 10, 1930, in Eastbourne, Sussex, England; died July 30, 2005, in Worthing, West Sussex, England. Air Force officer, historian, educator, journalist, and author. Bird was best known as an authority on British ice skating, about which he often wrote in books and magazine articles. Although he became fascinated by ice skating when he was a boy, Bird found he had no talent for the sport himself, and so he determined instead to write about his passion. This interest was sidetracked for many years because of his lengthy service in the Royal Air Force. He was drafted into the military in 1949 and decided to remain in the service until 1968, when he retired as a squadron leader. He still managed to report on ice skating during this time, however, including covering the winter Olympic games in 1952. After leaving the air force, Bird became a civil servant with England's Home Office, where he was principal of the urban program division for five years. He then joined the Civil Service College as an administration trainee course director in 1973, becoming a senior lecturer from 1977 until his 1991 retirement. Meanwhile, Bird became a highly respected authority on ice skating, writing the "John Noel's Diary" column pseudonymously for Skating World magazine from 1948 to 1973, and contributing to other magazines, as well. A longtime member of the National Ice Skating Association, for which he served as honorary secretary, he also issued such books as Artistry on Ice (1968), Our Skating Heritage: A Centenary History of the National Skating Association of Great Britain, 1879–1979 (1979), and The Independent: Arnold Gerschwiler, Inspired Ice-Skating Coach (2003). He was also the author of Management in Government: A History of the Civil Service College, 1970–1995 (1995).



Independent (London, England), September 6, 2005, p. 30.

Times (London, England), August 30, 2005, p. 43.