David Waterhouse obituary


My pal David Waterhouse, who has died aged 86, had a big profession within the British Council and, after retirement to Shrewsbury, Shropshire, was influential in creating native cultural actions.

David towered over lots of his mates, however he was a giant man in different methods too. He was outgoing and assured with an attractive chortle. He had a loud voice and was a very good singer. In his youth his physique contributed to his ability at rugby and shot put – he beat the Oxford College freshman’s shot-put report by greater than 4 toes and was later chosen for the England athletics B crew. He had a real curiosity in all these he met and enthusiastically embraced totally different concepts, cultures and other people.

After studying historical past at Merton Faculty, Oxford, in 1961 David joined the British Council and rose shortly via the ranks. He was head of a lot of abroad workplaces – in Nepal, Nigeria, Zambia, Thailand and Germany. Networking was one among David’s nice strengths. His curiosity in others made them really feel valued collaborators, which contributed to his success in assembly the British Council’s core goal of getting individuals from various backgrounds to combine, spreading British tradition and the English language. In all this he was strongly supported by his spouse, Verena (nee Johnson), whom he married in 1966.

On retirement in 2000, David turned chair of the Buddies of Shrewsbury Museum and Artwork Gallery at an important time in its improvement. He additionally sang in a number of choirs and have become an lively and galvanizing chair of Shropshire Music Belief and supported Shropshire Youth Theatre.

He was a fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society, for whom he edited a e book, The Origins of Himalayan Research (2004). As a part of the British Library’s oral historical past challenge, David recorded accounts of British Council workers from across the nation, which he vastly loved as speaking to individuals about their lives was what he liked.

Retirement allowed David to pursue his avid amassing of all kinds of artefacts, together with Caughley pottery (he was the image editor of the Caughley Society’s traditional e book on porcelain decorations, Caughley: Blue and White Patterns, printed in 2012), in addition to Nepalese begging bowls, West African buying and selling beads, textiles from everywhere in the world and quite a few books on the distant locations he had labored.

David was born in London, and introduced up in comfortable prolonged household in Winchmore Hill, one of many 4 youngsters of John, a Methodist minister, and Esther (nee Martin), a physician. For a number of generations his household had performed a big position within the Methodist church and little question David was influenced by their values. Nevertheless, as an grownup he recognized as a humanist.

David is survived by Verena, their youngsters, Esther, Tamsin and Ben, and grandchildren, Samuel, Olivia, David, Toby, Stanley, Penny and Bertie, and his brother Robert.


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