Former isles head teacher and musician dies in motorbike accident

Former primary school headteacher Ian Perry, who worked in Shetland for several years, was killed in a motorbike accident at the weekend.

As well as teaching Mr Perry was an accomplished musician who was heavily involved in the local music scene, who enjoyed taking part in Lerwick Up-Helly-A’.

He moved south at the end of last year to take up a new head teacher’s role in Nottinghamshire.

Mr Perry, a Yorkshireman, honed his musical skills on the working men’s club circuit in the north of England. His speciality was bass playing, but he also had a great baritone singing voice, according to Ian Malcolmson who played alongside Mr Perry in The Bluemelts.

He was a founder member of the bluesy-pop band with fellow musicians in Nesting. “His love of blues and soul music formed the backbone of the band however his musical genius really shone through in the beautiful brass arrangements he devised for the original material the band were now creating,” said Mr Malcolmson.

This was eventually presented on their album Leave it Late which features songs such as Little Yellow Mini and Between the Weather on the Sea which are played regularly on SIBC.

He was also a member of the Lerwick Community Orchestra, serving as the secretary, and the jazz band Full Swing.

Mr Perry joined the council’s children’s services in 2005 to lead the additional support team, then acted as shared head teacher at

Mossbank and Olnafirth primary schools. He left Shetland in 2008, returning in 2010 to take up the post as shared head teacher at Happyhansel and Sandness Primary Schools

He left that post at the end of last year and moved back to England where he took up a job as head teacher at Sherwood Junior School in Mansfield, near Nottingham.

He was also a keen Up-Helly-A’ squad member with a straight forward attitude, Mr Malcolmson said. “His no-nonsense brash Yorkshire manner could at first take a bit of getting used to as many of his close friends will testify but beneath this he was a talented, friendly and generous guy.

“He joined the Old Sound Squad for the Lerwick Up-Helly-A’ and quickly used all these attributes and his organisation skills to whip the squad (whose main attribute was the lack of such skills) into shape. He was sorely missed when he decided to move back to the mainland.”

Police confirmed on Wednesday that Mr Perry, 48, was killed in a collision at 10.45am on Sunday. A file has been prepared for the coroner.

Mr Perry leaves a family in Shetland.


Add Your Comment
  • Rev Brian Dobby

    • August 24th, 2016 15:59

    As school chaplain and friend I will remember Ian Perry as a dedicated and enthusiastic teacher who always put the pupils and their development at the top of his priorities. He enlivened our school assemblies together with his skillful guitar playing and singing. He loved the Shetland countryside and encouraged the children to enjoy and respect it. We were sad to see him leave last Christmas but wished him well in his new job. Whilst with us he earned the respect and affection of pupils, teachers and friends alike. My thoughts and prayers are with all those who will miss him after his untimely death.

    • Andrew James Gilbert

      • October 26th, 2016 21:55

      I’m saddened to hear of your loss, I was trying to contact him. I still remember him as a nice guy. Are you the guy who brings in the sweets on paper, I remember you, I hope you are ok. Did you know that Mr. Kirkbride also died? I nearly lost both my parents in recent years. I also lost someone in my life to a heart failure all of a sudden, the staff all miss her. I m just releaved my parents are still ok.

  • Andrew James Gilbert

    • October 9th, 2016 8:18

    Oh no, I used to know this guy. That’s the second teacher from my old school to die young. Is this the Mr. Perry that used to work for Mowbray school? Mr Kirkbride also died, of cancer. I have known several people in my family and social group to have been ill or injured too. I hope they all go to heaven. RIP Mr. Perry :'(


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