Before moving on from my reflections on The Magic Makers, I want to mention David Coates. The name of his house is, in fact, 'Janvin' but David was rarely attentive to what he saw as the trivialities and fripperies of life!
He was my first Head of Department when I started teaching English at The Woodroffe School in Lyme Regis in 1972. A man of wit, generosity, energy and positivity, he gave me much encouragement and many opportunities at the start of my career as well as his valuable advice whenever I asked for it. His great animation is clear in this photograph, taken about two years ago and one year before he died at the age of 86.
I'm not one to hold on to the past or for re-visiting it but David and I had stayed in touch via Christmas messages and I had heard from John Hollis (a good friend who started teaching English one year after I arrived at the Woodroffe) that David had been unwell.
He was thrilled with The Magic Makers, not least because he had taught Nicola who had been a devoted member of the production team for many of the plays he directed at the School. Giving me £10, he said I could keep the (£2) change to ease my way to matching the successes of J.K. Rowling!
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