OUR school community is saddened to hear of the death of Simon Gibson CBE.

Mr Gibson, who endowed our Music School, hence its name (The Gibson Music School), died at his home in Exning on May 6th, aged 94.

Mr Gibson, pictured centre, was educated at Harrow School. He was touched to be made an Honorary Old Elean in recognition of his generosity to King’s. Among the many other local charities and causes he supported were Ely Cathedral, Ely Museum, Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust and the East Anglian Air Ambulance. He was made a CBE in recognition of his charitable work.

Mr Gibson’s fortune came through his great-uncle, William Tatem, the first Lord Glaneley, who was born in Appledore on the North Devon coast. Mr Gibson later paid for a new lifeboat – named Glanely – for the town’s lifeboat station. Aged 12, William had gone to sea, sailing on a voyage around Cape Horn. Aged 18, he joined a shipping company as a clerk. He went from cabin boy to millionaire when he formed the Atlantic Shipping Company, which became the largest exporter of coal mined in South Wales. In 1916, he was made Lord Glanely and a few years later acquired the Landwade Estate at Exning. Killed in an air raid in 1942, it was his nephew George, Mr Gibson’s father, who inherited his fortune as Lord Glanely’s only son had died in 1905.

A private funeral for Mr Gibson is being held at St Martin’s Church, Exning, on May 19th.

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