Stead is a former Head Boy of King James's Grammar School.
He left school to read BA (Hons) in Geography at Durham
University. On leaving university he found 'temporary employment' at
a textile firm in Lindley, little realising that this would lead to
a long-term career in this field. He became an Associate of the
Textile Institute and in due course lectured for many years in the
Textile Department of the College of Technology in Huddersfield,
later to become the Polytechnic and then the University of
Huddersfield. He took early retirement in 1997.
Gerald was President of the Huddersfield Textile Society during
its centenary in 2002-2004 and became Honorary Life Member in April