Keswick Hall College of Education

Last principal: Bill Etherington

Bill Etherington:

Last Principal of Keswick Hall

William Etherington , who was born in July 1925, personified Keswick Hall.  Bill, who was College Principal from 1973, following an

appointment at St Martin’s College, Lancaster. With the existing national teacher training system collapsing he oversaw a difficult time seeing a reduction in student numbers from 700 to 400 per year and the incorporation of the College with the University of East Anglia in 1981. At this point he was appointed Dean of the UEA School of Education, until 1983. He was Honorary Secretary of the Keswick Hall Trustees until 1998 and continued as president of the Old Students’ Club for some years.

He wrote: “I enjoy answering questions about anything to do with the College but especially from former students of any vintage - helping them to get in contact with friends and former tutors…. I deposited the College’s formal records in the Norfolk Record Office.”

In 2002 he wrote and published A Quiet Woman's War: The Story of Elsie Bell.’ (Mousehold Press). Elsie Bell was a former student at Norwich Training College who found herself caught up in the Nazi occupation of Brussels and worked on the clandestine ‘Comet’ network securing the escape of over 700 RAF and Allied aircrew. She was captured and sentenced to death. Her story can be found on this website.

‘What happened to Keswick Hall’ (top menu) was written by Bill Etherington and is an interesting insight into the closing days of Keswick Hall.


Bill Etherington  died peacefully at Oakwood House Nursing Home, Norwich, on 2nd of November 2017.  He had spent much of 2017 in the nursing home in Norwich during which time he became physically very frail. Throughout the ups and downs of his health condition his spirit remained Yorkshire strong and his faith was steadfast and unwavering.