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Audio interviews T-Z
Jack Taylor (staff 1959-97)
Jack Taylor was the longest-serving teacher in the history of the School, his 38-year career at King James's having been surpassed only by Rev Samuel Brook's tenure as Headmaster from 1727-1771. He joined King James's Grammar School in 1959 as Head of Biology (succeeding Chris Perraton), after initial training in Coventry and a brief spell at Royds Hall Grammar School. In addition to his role in the Science Department, he was in turn Head of Sixth Form, Head of Upper School and Assistant Headteacher. Jack also became Fenay Housemaster, taking over from Walter Haigh on the latter's retirement. His wide range of interests led to him setting up Scientific and Philatelic societies, and he was very much involved in House and School soccer and cricket teams from Junior to Senior levels. During the 1980s he played an influential role as Chairman of the Old Almondburians' Society, at a time when the future of the School was in some doubt. Jack has maintained close links with the School since his retirement. He was a member of the Old Almondburians' Society executive committee and former Chairman of the OAS Cricket Club, occasionally turning out to play with the 2nd XI and as an umpire. He is a keen walker and gardener, and an entertaining after-dinner speaker.
Recorded on 3rd October 2006
Jeffrey Neilsen Taylor (1940-47)
Jeff Taylor became an amateur soccer player with Huddersfield Town while still at school in 1943. After National Service from 1947-1949, he gained a BA (Hons) degree in Geography/Geology at University College, London, funding his studies by turning professional with Huddersfield Town in a debut match against Chelsea. As he was studying in London, he welcomed the opportunity in due course to transfer to Fulham in 1952. He then spent three years with Brentford before retiring from football in 1958. Having become deeply involved in music making while at university, Jeff spent five years studying at the Royal Academy of Music in parallel with his footballing activities. His retirement from football presented the opportunity to embark on a successful career as the singer Neilson Taylor, making many radio and television broadcasts, appearing at Glyndebourne with Glyndebourne Opera Company and at Covent Garden. In 1974, he was appointed Professor of Singing at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama whilst continuing as a top performer on radio and television.
Jeff retired from RSAMD in 1992 but continued to teach privately at the highest level. Sadly, he died in December 2010 at the age of 80.
Recorded on 5th March 2007
Harry Taylor (Headmaster 1951-73)
This archive recording dates back to 6th October 1972, the occasion being Harry Taylor's final Speech Day before his retirement the following July. At the time, the School's future was in serious doubt and Harry Taylor speaks with feeling about the School's past achievements and his hopes for the future. Harry Taylor, a graduate of St John's College, Oxford, became Headmaster in 1951. Avuncular but authoritative, he was to guide the School through an important period of its growth over the following 22 years. He retired in 1973 but worked for the British Council for several years, giving help and advice to foreign students in Huddersfield; he also transcribed several volumes of the Almondbury Parish registers. In his spare time, he claimed to grow the best chrysanthemums in Huddersfield.
Recorded on 6th October 1972
Richard Taylor (1954-62)
Richard Taylor, a son of former Headmaster Harry Taylor, was formerly a joint Chairman of the Old Almondburians’ Society. He spent eight happy years at King James’s before gaining an Honours Degree in Modern History and a Diploma in Education at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford. He undertook a Diploma in Physical Education and subsequently taught at Wakefield College where he spent 23 years as Head of Leisure, Recreation & Sport.

Richard retired in 1995 and fills many hours as Chief Examiner/Lead Verifier with various examination boards. He is still a playing member of the MCC and enjoys watching his four sons playing a very wide range of sports at various levels.
Recorded on 2nd January 2009
Stuart Thompson (1949-56)
Son of a retail pharmacist, Stuart Thompson left King James's in 1956 to embark on a four-year pharmacy course at the University of Manchester. After graduating, he worked briefly in ICI's pharmaceutical division at Alderley Park before returning to Manchester to undertake post-graduate research in biochemistry leading to a PhD. After three years in the US Stuart returned to England to take up a position at the Medical Research Laboratories in north London, before moving back to Manchester in 1969 to undertake further research and teaching at the University; during this time he and a group of colleagues set up a successful contract research company. In the mid-1990s, Stuart made a complete career change within the University. Finding teaching and administrative loads an increasing burden, he spent his remaining years before retirement in the field of health and safety. His wide-ranging responsibilities included liaising with architects and engineers on the design of new laboratories, training, liaison with regulatory agencies and consultancy work for start-up biotechnology companies.
Recorded on 1st November 2007
Jim Toomey (staff 1953-68)
After studying for his BA in Latin with Greek, followed by a teaching diploma at the University of Manchester, Jim Toomey spent two years' National Service teaching English and Maths at Catterick army camp.
He then taught Latin at King James's Grammar School for 15 years from 1953, during which period he was awarded an MA in Greek from Leeds University and spent a six month Sabbatical at Clare College, Cambridge. He was closely involved in the school Scout Troop and often involved the Scouts in archaeological digs in the locality. After a short spell as Head of Classics at Colne Valley High School, Jim became Deputy Head of Bromsgrove County High School in 1970. Retirement in 1989 presented Jim with the opportunity to broaden his academic studies by undertaking the translation of medieval latin documents and he was awarded a Doctorate by the University of Birmingham in 1997.

Jim Toomey was Editor of Records of Hanley Castle, Worcestershire c. 1147-1547 (The Worcestershire Historical Society). He died in 2013.
Recorded on 21st December 2006
Ann Walker (daughter of Fred Hudson)
Ann Walker is the only child of Fred Hudson, senior geography master at King James's Grammar School from 1939 to 1973 and second master from 1953 to 1973. A former teacher herself, she now lives in retirement in Otley, West Yorkshire. In this recording, Ann talks about her father outside the classroom - his talented piano playing, his interest in music generally, his writing and his love of sport. She also reminisces about her visits to the School as a young girl and the obvious pleasure her father derived from his teaching career.
'Recorded on 7th February 2011
John Watson (1948-53)
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Even in his schooldays, John Watson was an entertainer: one of his earliest memories is making a papier-mache set of Punch & Judy figures which in due course led to a Christmas show in the School gym. Sadly, his voice broke before he could realise his ambition to appear in a Gilbert & Sullivan production and after five years he left King James's to pursue his interest in Graphic Design. This led to studies at the Royal College of Art in London where, by a happy coincidence, a musical outfit calling themselves The Temperance Seven found themselves short of a banjo player and enlisted John to fill the vacancy. Within a couple of years, The Temperance Seven hit the jackpot when their recording of You're Driving Me Crazy shot to the top of the UK hit parade, closely followed by Pasadena.

Today, John is still a busy banjo player and entertainer with Bill Posters Will Be Band, offering 'a complete musical variety show suitable for a wide range of functions', and he also continues his graphic design activities.
'Recorded on 1st January 2007
Bob Williams (1964-70)
A former chairman of the Old Almondburians’ Society from 1998-2000, Bob Williams was involved in many School projects including floodlighting the Schoolhouse, the provision of trophy cabinets and the Specialist Science College bid. He played football for the Almondburians’ Football Club for 23 years and was chairman of the Club for 10 years.
.Recorded on 11th April 2016