A colleague remembered
Wednesday 26 July 2017
This is no way to leave the scene. John should still be with us. There are piles of paper files on the desk. A selection of Roderick Jones papers (Reuters general manager 1915-1941), letters from his wife, the writer, Enid Bagnold - days of old indeed.
John and I worked closely in the Reuters Archive for the last three and a half years. Prior to that, from the late 1980s our paths crossed on many occasions when I was working in Editorial. We developed a good relationship, as he inquired about stories from the 1940s onwards. In the Archive, we were a team and it worked. John handled the company history and I the editorial queries and the new technology!
John always impressed me with his enviable memory and his wide-range of interests. We discussed everything from the best furniture polish to use (Lord Sheraton if you must know) to an obscure song that he would instantly recognise and recite the words to. As a member of both the Georgian and Victorian Societies, he knew his country houses! What particularly impressed was his understanding of the history and complexities of British aristocracy from the last 200 years or so.
His complete knowledge of the company was a given. It is no wonder the Archive therefore has such a good reputation around the world with academics visiting from Turkey to the United States and many from Germany where Julius Reuter was born. All this is much to lose and personally I have lost not only a colleague, but a friend. ■