John Deakin

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MR D - John Deakin memorials: “inspirational teacher, scout leader, father and friend” (1940-2009)

John Deakin

In their own words.....

When you think Raglan School you think ‘Mr Deacon”. A whole generation remember him the pinnacle of school days. Mr Deacon was one of the real good guys an immense person who will not be replaced, the old school, he was both caring as well as a strong male roll model — a great person and an excellent teacher, Raglan will not be the same !!! (Kyle Price)

One of the greatest teachers I have ever known. Even after almost two decades I can't look at humbugs without thinking about him, and his crazy ghost stories and cracking 'eggs' on your head for not paying attention. There will never be another one like him. Was a pleasure knowing you sir! x (Cat Galbraith)

I have just the most amazing memories growing up with such an amazing teacher, neighbour, (ghost) story teller, musician, scout leader, the list really is endless...I treasure such precious memories and times with Mr John Deakin always. xx (Sian Phillips)

One of the best primary teachers ever. He was one of the best men who ever lived. All those who ever knew him are all the better for it. a light has gone out but will burn in our hearts forever. (Nichola Foley)

The life spilled out of him—how fortunate we were to get splashed at such an impressionable age! So many wonderful memories, so many years later. You live on, John, in our hearts and minds. (Miles Champion)

He made the process of going to school enjoyable, made us giggle and he will be in our memories forever. (Claire Josselyn)

I can’t play my guitar, my goldfish still die after a day or so and I’m sure there are no Romans under the raglan roundabout. I wouldn’t have it any other way. He was one of my role models and my favourite teacher, always enjoyed the board rubber hurtling towards me (thoroughly deserved it) lol. I wish all children could have the opportunities for growth and happiness that he afforded so many while in school dib dib dib x (Andrew Aubrey)

Mr D is the teacher I will always remember..great teacher..great bloke..Every time I see someone playing the ukulele Banjo it reminds me of him..he will be sadly missed (Simon Burgess)

Mr Deakin often pops into my thoughts some 20 years on. Often when I'm picking up a guitar. I wish I'd had the chance to thank him in person for being such a fantastic and engaging teacher, he was a credit to his profession. (William Gray)

He was not just a great teacher but also a great friend too. . . I remember him sitting me on his knee when I felt unwell to smell his smelling salts, which made me feel even worse!! He always had the time when he had left teaching to ask how everyone was. He is a legend but we will always remember him. (Hannah Stonelake)

Apart from the goldfish, my one abiding memory of Mr Deakin was when I was in a recorder competition at a school in Risca. It was a really long day and the competition very serious. I was starving so Mr Deakin got me a bag of crisps but I couldn't eat them during the performances. At the end of each performance he clapped extra loud so I could eat without being noticed or disturbing anyone. After he left Raglan he went to work at a school in Newport and used to give me, my brother and James Exton a lift to school. Occasionally we would stop at the railway station in Newport on the way back to pick up a big polystyrene crate containing the fish for the fair. He was a well respected and clearly well loved teacher. Helen Barrington [now Dolby] (Helen Elizabeth Barrington Dolby)

An absolute legend of a guy. Our visit to Fforest Coalpit was awesome because of him. He will be dearly missed. (Alun Giz Griffiths)

I have so many brilliant memories of Mr Deakin, the school guitar lessons, the trip to Forest Coalpit, the egg splats on the head, the goldfish stall at the school fete - I tried so hard to win one, but with no success - lovely Mr Deakin gave me one instead, thank you! (Gemma Ruff)

Mr Deakin was the best teacher I’ve ever had a true TEACHER of many wonderful and comical things he will be sadly missed and loved by all who had the fortunate chance of meeting him. (Trina Sami Brown)


I am gutted, he was such a great man. (Jo Davies)

An amazing teacher who helped me through bad times will be missed dearly (Laura Weed)

A legend—it will be a sadder place without him in the world (Gareth Bowen)

He was the last Primary school teacher I had before I moved from Raglan, plus no one ever topped him as a teacher since. (Dyl Cook)

Does anyone else remember his tall tales about the lovable mutt Geroff Rover? I can't quite remember the exact details of the stories, but he certainly had plenty to share with us all when I was in 2nd year juniors in 1987/88. He was absolutely my favourite teacher ever. A sad loss, but a genuinely great man. (Neal Maidment)

He was a wonderful teacher who seemed make learning fun and uncomplicated. Reading the posts has made me remember the eggs on heads and "flea spray". After the best part of thirty years I still have the guitar he tried to teach me to play, and although i still can't play it I treasure it! Thanks for the wonderful memories Sir, and thanks for your support during a difficult time. You will always be the best. (Andrew Nige Davies)

The best all round teacher! Catching goldfish in the back garden a fond memory as are guitar lessons anywhere they could be held and especially the phrase "Daddy smack" very non PC the best of memories!! RIP MR D (Alison Guest)

Great man and teacher, remembered most for his fantastic ghost stories x x (Kate Cox)

I always remember Mr Deakin going to his allotment... & either talking over the fence with him or going over to the allotment to chat with him... Lol, he had so much patience, living so close to so many of us that he taught.... Lol, could get away from us!! (Sian davies)

Mr Deakin was wonderful... he gave me my first nickname, my first smelling salts (ugh), my first proper bollocking (I think it was for shouting in Kim Knight's ear - sorry Kim) and more... Thanks Mr D (Karen Wynne)

With the shuffling around of the teachers at Raglan Juniors it is one of the disappointments of my school days that I never got to have Mr.Deakin as my teacher but it didn’t matter growing up in Raglan Mr. Deakin was part of your childhood anyway and an important part of it at that. Being a kid is supposed to be fun and Mr.Deakin made it fun and yet without realising you were learning stuff at the same time. Those of us who had the privilege of growing up with Mr.Deakin as part of our lives truly are blessed. (Gareth Knight)

I can’t strum a guitar, blow on a recorder, look at a goldfish or pretend to blow my nose without thinking of John Deakin. So many things are engraved in my memory about John, he was the ideal primary school teacher, his enthusiasm and ability to make learning fun made education what it should be. Out of school, from the endless supply of disposable goldfish through to legend of the haunted Ping Pong Ball that kept every Cub Scout fearful to sleep John was the heartbeat of so many things in the community. He was my first inspiration to strive to make a career from something I love to do and I’ll never forget him. They don’t make John Deakins anymore and that makes us all the more blessed. (Mike Compton)

Mr Deakin was the most giving and engaging teacher I ever I had. Being in his class (twice) was so much fun. No pressure. I hoped for ghost stories on grey days and to get an egg cracked on my head. He was scary in a good way. I always went straight for the goldfish stand, not only to win one but to show off my fantastic teacher to my mum who also believes him to be the best. Green and Yellow is probably the only song I know all the words to. Today 27 ish years from being in primary school myself, I taught it to my daughter. I can only hope my children will meet a teacher like him. (Helen Griggs)

A teacher and great Scout master who made learning and going to school fun for every one. (Steve Heath) Green and Yellow Song… - The song John taught us.......... (Steve Heath)

- I wasn’t taught by John , and I wasn't in Raglan scouts , and still I know this song ! I can see Marilyn singing it with John. So much has come flooding back since reading this thread. I only ever remembered the ‘green an yella’ verse. (Wendy Davies)

- John will live on with this song alone, we will pass it on to our kids...my son will love it right up his street. (Kevin Probert)

Most of the comments here are by John`s ex-pupils.Perhaps I could presume to represent the feelings of former colleagues. There were times when we never wanted to hear another chorus of "One man went to mow"--ever again--and John could never find anything--but I was always aware of your instinctive genius and it was a privilege to see you work with the children.We had such great times!We were so fortunate to know you and you have obviously left a great legacy of love. (Margaret Evans)

John dear, you were a King. Your teaching methods were inimitable, your friendship invaluable, your personality unique. Everyone your life touched remembers you. A light has been extinguished in all our lives, and the world is a sadder, darker, less enjoyable place without you. Thank you, John, for being part of our lives. (Jenny Sullivan)

John was a man who always made time and effort for other people. Many memories I have of Johns kindness and no doubt by knowing him made me a better person. (Eddit Roberts)

Raglan has lost one of the nicest people you could ever meet. I was very lucky to have known him and will never forget him. (Jan Morgan) What can we say? he was an inspirational teacher. The hours of patience he had with putting up with us all learning the guitar - I don’t think he could ever have made a profit from the 5p photocopies of the music! I still have some of the actual ones left!! He will always have a special place in my memories. If I can be half the teacher he was - I’ll be happy. (Emma Merrett)

Amazing teacher - everything I will aspire to as a teacher myself. (Amy Claire)

If I can be half the teacher that Mr. D was I’l be proud! (Donna Chinnick)

70 postings on “John Deakin Facebook’ group in 2009

J. Deakin Bench
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