(1933 - )
Anton Bantock was born in Birmingham and educated at King Edward’s Grammar School. After National Service, he went to New College, Oxford where he read history. In 1955, he started his career as a teacher and moved to Bristol in 1960 to take up a post at Bedminster Down School. He stayed there for 27 years becoming Head of History and enthusiastically encouraging pupils to engage with the curriculum. During his career, he wrote several books, travelled extensively and set up a charity to raise money for people overseas without access to formal education or training.
On his retirement, he set up the University of Withywood in his own home with the aim of providing local people and disadvantaged individuals around the world with educational opportunities they might not normally access. Through the university, Anton has sponsored young people from countries such as Hong Kong, Kenya, Jordan, India and Syria. Individuals helped by the University of Withywood have gone on to complete Bachelors’ degrees, escape persecution and to tutor Spanish classes for the university. Anton also founded the Malago Society in 1973, which produces a newsletter and lectures covering local history in the south-west area of Bristol.
Anton’s mother was the second woman ever to write Grand Opera and his grandfather, Granville Bantock, was a renowned composer who was knighted in recognition of his contribution to English music. Anton himself was awarded the MBE in 2003 for services to the community, particularly with respect to education. He also received an honorary doctorate from the University of Bristol in 2010.