Richard Taylor (FS 59-64) has contributed some memories of James Wykes (HM 51-63) and Ron Johnson (M 59-65):

“I enjoyed Nigel Clothier's recollections of James Wykes in the last Bulletin and endorse his opinion of J.C.W., whom I came to know somewhat better after 1978, when I was lecturing at a University of London Institute of Education college. One day, across the senior common room, I was astonished to see the once familiar figure of James Wykes, who was, it turned out, giving a series of lectures in the Mass Media department. He was a fine classicist, who had played cricket for Cambridge University, and for Scotland for six seasons; he had left St Bees for the unlikely environment of Lew Grade's ATV in London, where he became the Director of Adult Education TV, and later Head of Schools TV for the Inner London Education Authority.
Every week thereafter he would join me for sherry in my room before we had lunch and was very cheerful and affable company. As Nigel Clothier indicated, far from being the remote and contained figure he had seemed to us at school, James Wykes had a great sense of humour, and could be very amusing about the foibles of the teaching staff! We resumed our weekly meetings the next year, and kept in touch thereafter till he died - sadly on his 79th birthday in 1992.
On 2 February 1978 I photographed him in my room. ‘I was delighted with the photo’, he wrote, when some time later I sent him a copy, ‘so was my wife - possibly she thinks it portrays me in all-too-infrequent festive mood!’ After he died, Cecile Wykes wrote that she was particularly fond of it, as it showed him looking so relaxed and cheerful, and I thought that OSBs might like to share this photo of him, taken fifteen years after he left St Bees.  
Cecile also wrote: ‘I have had many letters and it is a great joy to me to find out how much he was appreciated and loved and I only wish he could have read them. He was a humble man and would not have believed how much he was respected and loved.’
Please CLICK HERE to see photograph.

Another staff member whom OSBs of my era may remember fondly is Ron Johnson, with whom I have recently been in touch. He taught at St Bees from 1959 to 1965 and was Head of History, Housemaster of Foundation South and then joint Housemaster of Foundation. After St Bees he became senior lecturer at St Luke's College of Education, Exeter, and in 1973 emigrated to Australia, where he taught in schools and at a university. He has been married for 38 years to Diane, and in August he celebrated his 80th birthday with a lunch at a restaurant overlooking Sydney harbour, where he and guests danced to a bazouki player and sang to an Irish fiddle played by a friend. No one who was present could forget his spirited rendition, along with co-Housemaster Peter Croft and House Tutor, Darrell Farrant, of ‘Three Little Maids from school are we’ at the Hostel Concert in March 1964!
Please CLICK HERE to see photograph.
Ron is clearly still firing on all cylinders, and, as well as enjoying the Wallabies and Australian cricket, is playing an active part in the incredibly rich cultural life of Sydney, especially the musical. He and Diane are involved with the Opera House and are active volunteers with a theatre company of which Cate Blanchett and her husband are the artistic directors. He has been President of an historical society, of which he wrote an evidently well received history, and inter alia has published an extensive series of articles on local history (many of which have been published in book form), spiced with his characteristic wit. 
I had written to convey greetings from a number of St. Beghians of my era, and he asked me to let them know that he much appreciated their best wishes, and to assure everyone that he wishes them well and that he has very happy memories of St Bees and his staff colleagues there.”



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