Article and Photographs: Jonathan White
A concert in memory of John White took place at Wistaston Memorial Hall on Church Lane in Wistaston on the evening of Thursday 14th July 2022. The concert was kindly organised by Diane Edge-Robinson (Chair of Wistaston Memorial Hall).
Christopher, John’s eldest son, spoke prior to the performance by Crewe Concert Band about his father who passed away in July 2020, aged 80, from cancer.
John attended Nantwich and Acton Grammar School before successfully completing a two-year teacher training course at the Alsager College in 1960. His first teaching post was as at Monks Coppenhall Primary School in Crewe. John met his future wife, Glenys Furlong, through the newly formed Young Teachers Group (National Union of Teachers). As they were both interested in tennis, they played together in the tennis league and friendly matches. In 1968 John & Glenys married and moved to their new home in White Hart Lane, Wistaston. They both became involved in village life in Wistaston. In January 1969, John was appointed as Deputy Headteacher at Wistaston Berkeley Primary School. His two sons, Christopher (1969) and Jonathan (1971) were born during this period. John’s final teaching post was when he was appointed Headteacher at Leighton Park Primary School in Crewe. John retired after thirty-seven years of teaching in 1997.
On retirement John was involved in several local groups including, in no particular order: the Wistaston Jubilee Tennis Club of which he was an inaugural member, the Wistaston Duck Race & Model Boat Race, Britain in Bloom, the Remembrance Day Service, the Annual Hall Quiz, Wistaston Village Fete, the Retired Teachers group, the U3A Local History group leader, and music concerts. Santa often made an appearance at Christmas events and looked quite familiar!
John loved Wistaston but he especially loved the Wistaston Memorial Hall and his role on the Hall’s Management Committee. He was always very conscious of the fact that the Hall is a living memorial to the 16 men of Wistaston who gave their lives for our freedom. He organised the Remembrance Day Service and devoted considerable time to researching one of the 16 men each year.
The concert featured music from Crewe Concert Band, conducted by Musical Director Adam Shilton, which were all expertly performed by the band to an appreciative audience. The concert contained several examples of John’s most favourite music including Light and Tuneful (BBC Wimbledon theme), selections from Les Misérables and The Floral Dance.
A video of the concert is available on YouTube.
A wall plaque in the Hall in memory of John was unveiled by his sons – Christopher and Jonathan – during the interval. Refreshments were also served during the interval.
There was also a memory table featuring some of John’s belongings, a slideshow of photos of John and a prize raffle.
Proceeds from the event will be shared between Wistaston Memorial Hall and Crewe Concert Band.
Diane Edge-Robinson, Chair of Wistaston Memorial Hall, said: “A fantastic night and great community support. My thanks go to the Crewe Concert Band for their superb contribution. John served over 20 years on the committee of the Wistaston Memorial Hall, over 18 of which he was Chairman, second longest serving Chairman. A huge contribution to our community by anyone’s standards.”
The White family said: “Thank you to Diane Edge-Robinson for organising the wonderful evening of music. Thank you to Crewe Concert Band and their Musical Director Adam Shilton for volunteering to perform. John so loved the many concerts that they have performed at the Hall over many years. The band also worked very hard to add new songs to their repertoire for the concert. Thank you also to the Wistaston Memorial Hall committee for their tireless work.”