John Conrad Hallam
Born in Louth, Lincolnshire on 29 December 1929, John began his time at The Leys in Pitlochry during WWII. He often recalled the state of the dining room ceiling by the time they returned to Cambridge, from the margarine the boys pinged up on their knives!
He had a love of engineering, often dismantling and reconstructing the motorbike he kept at school. Indeed, upon leaving, he and Roger Baker, West 1944-48, took their bikes through Europe and the Alps to the south of France, even camping in Brigitte Bardot’s garden by mistake!
Following two years’ military service, he and Jan were married in April 1953 and had four children, Judy, twin boys Crispin and Mark, East 1970-75, and Nickie.
All John’s working life was spent with Bowater Packaging, initially in Italy, then Brussels. The family later settled in Meldreth for over 30 years and enjoyed entertaining a wide circle of friends and family. In his pre-retirement years as a development director, John travelled extensively in the USA.
Soon afterwards, Jan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and her condition gradually deteriorated until she died in 2009 after 56 years of marriage. No-one else could have shown such devotion in looking after her. As John’s mobility worsened, much of his time was spent on the computer. He never once complained and was amazingly stoical in facing his physical limitations, forever grateful and keeping an active mind.
Above all, he was an honourable, hard-working, generous and loving family man. He was immensely proud of his five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren and will be dearly missed.
Words by Mark Hallam, East 1970-75
The photograph shows a young John at work in the Engineering Workshop at The Leys