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News > Reported Deaths > Sidcotians who have died recently.

Sidcotians who have died recently.

A life well spent - he did very little harm.
John C. Hulme
John C. Hulme


29 AUGUST 1945 – 06 OCTOBER 2020

John was adopted by Freddie and Kathleen Hulme very soon after his birth in 1945. His childhood home was East Malling in Kent.

John's education was at Sidcot School in Somerset. A Quaker school set in the beautiful surroundings of the Mendip Hills, John's parents had selected this for the lovely setting and the fact that it was (uncommon for the times) a co-educational school, rather than from any religious convictions. Schoolfellows remember John for the unusual haircut he sported on arrival (a crew cut – legacy of his stay in America) flamboyant waistcoats and the fact that he could not restrain himself from arguing with the teachers! 

John's academic success at school was not great. He described himself subsequently as either a late developer, or someone who was non-academic, and who needed to see a clear purpose in order to motivate study. He breezed through the banking and financial advisor qualifications he completed during his working life. 

Two of John's lifelong great passions were established during his school years. Sport – particularly cricket, and music – especially singing.   

But cricket was his game. He credited his sportsmaster, Stuart Linney with establishing his technique and firing his enthusiasm, and the summer of 1962 was notable for not a single game lost. John's schoolmate, Tony Watts attributes much of this success to John's straight batting, and recalls long hours in the nets, where John's eyes would light up when Tony came on to bowl his slow right-arm leg breaks and John would lean back, open his shoulders and launch him back over his head to cow corner. John went on to captain the school team, and was remembered by younger schoolfellows for the support, encouragement and coaching he gave them. 

Leaving school, John first went to study at Teacher Training College, but soon established this was not for him, and joined the Westminster Bank in 1964. He appreciated the division of his day between the often humdrum 9 to 5 work and his own time, and put some much needed discipline into his life.

John had also become involved in politics, with strong sympathies for the Liberal party. Many schoolfellows were surprised that he had not gone into politics as a career – particularly after he was joint winner of the school's Rose Dymond debating prize on the subject of the Single Transferable vote – but John's interest in “parish pump” politics was low, and he considered there was not much future in attempting a role in national politics.

Laughter, music making and the pub scene were all important elements, and John was introduced to the world of the local choral societies and church choirs of Suffolk. He dusted off his singing skills, and had much fun using his rich bass baritone voice, and slightly less fun pretending to be a tenor! 

John met his wife, Jan when they were both singing in Long Melford Church choir. He was 32 and she was 16, but they fell deeply in love, and were married in 1982, after she finished university. Theirs has been a long and happy marriage, with them celebrating their 38th wedding anniversary in July 2020. They adored each other, and their many cats, and John's greatest worries in his final illness were how Jan would manage when he was no longer with her.

When considering what his Epitaph would be, John was very taken by the thoughts of the late actor, Paul Eddington, who said he would like it to be 'He did very little harm'. “Most people seem to me to do a great deal of harm. If I could be remembered as having done very little harm, that would suit me.”  

John will be missed at the Easter weekends. John will be remembered for his ready smile, his pipe smoking, his easy manner and lovely sense of humour. A kind and thoroughly decent man.

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