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David Kershaw (5 Jan 1952 - 5 Aug 2015)

18 August 15 words: Nicola Monaghan
"He opened a flash mob by tap dancing down the steps of the Council House. This was a moment that many of his friends are choosing to remember him by."
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Photograph taken from Ed Sherwood's graduation in 2012

Local writer, copy editor, dramatist, actor, dancer and teacher David Kershaw died on Wednesday 5 August, after a short illness, much to the shock of everyone who knew him. He worked almost until the day he died, which is in part what made his death so unexpected. And, yet, this is not surprising at all for anyone who knew him. He was a powerhouse and a hugely generous teacher, even when you accidentally used a grocer’s apostrophe or one too many commas in a sentence. He always had time to spare and wisdom to share.

David was the archetypal upwardly mobile grammar school boy. Born in Oldham he was a proper Lancashire lad who went through the culture shock of aTrinity College, Cambridge education and then on to the world of London publishing. He worked in publishing for over thirty years, both in house and as a freelancer. His work ranged through fiction, non-fiction and academic publishing.

David’s real love, though, was the theatre and performance. He directed and administered a theatre touring company, and acted in amateur and professional performances, as well as teaching drama and scriptwriting to students of all ages. He was also a dancer, and was pursuing his grades in both tap and ballet right up until shortly before his death. He opened the Depression Expression flash mob in Nottingham’s Market Square in 2013 by tap dancing down the steps of the Council House and into slab square. This was a moment that many of his friends and colleagues are choosing to remember him by.

David will be sorely missed as a tutor and mentor at the University of Nottingham on the BA Creative and Professional Writing Program. David was a treasured teacher on this course, and there are so many writers in Nottingham who contribute a large part of their success to what they learnt from David.  I shared an office with David during my last months at the University and was so lucky to have many daily conversations with such a wise and generous man. He always spoke his mind, even when it wasn’t in his best interests, and gave so much of himself to his students and colleagues. University Alumni and staff are planning a final anthology in his honour.

David was also a member of the Nottingham Writers’ Studio and the Rainbow writers group, and he read at recent events, such as the Nottingham Festival of Words. His absence as a tutor, mentor, performer and writer will be deeply felt in Nottingham. David deserved a long and happy retirement and wouldn’t have wasted a moment of it resting. I would suggest that he rest in peace except that I can’t imagine him enjoying such a thing so I can only say I hope that somewhere, he has the chance to get those tap shoes on again and dance like no one is watching.

David's funeral is 18 Aug, 3pm, at Wilford Hill. Flowers can be sent to C. Terry Funeral Services, Bulwell

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