Retired teacher and minister mourned

John Hall

John Hall - Credit: supplied

A FORMER Portishead teacher and church minister has died at the age of 90.

Family and friends have paid tribute to John Hall, who died at home in his favourite chair on January 30.

Describing her father, daughter Jenny said: “He was a record-breaking sportsman, a wartime commander, a brilliant chemistry and physics teacher, minister, part-time conjuror, a carpenter and chaplain for air and army cadets and for St Brandon’s School, Clevedon.

“He was a supporter of Toc-H, an ex-servicemen’s association.

“He was a true gentleman who will be sadly missed.”


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John was born in July 1923, in Lincolnshire.

He attended Bristol University to study chemistry but interrupted his studies to join the navy, taking part in the D-Day landings and was captain of a motor launch in the Middle East.

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After the war John returned to university, graduated and trained as a teacher.

Also shortly after the war, he visited a former naval colleague for dinner where he met Jeannie, who he later married.

They moved to Newhaven, Sussex, near his teaching job at Lewes Grammar School, and had two daughters, Margaret and Jennifer.

After a few years the family moved to Nailsea when John took a teaching job in Long Ashton, then in 1964 he took up the position of head of chemistry at Gordano School in Portishead.

By 1969 he was also appointed head of house and Hall House was born.

Alongside his teaching, John explored entering the Anglican priesthood.

He attended Salisbury Theological College and was ordained at Wells Cathedral, going on to work in the Portishead parish as an unpaid minister for nearly 40 years until he was 85.

In his spare time John enjoyed singing light opera, taking roles such as Gilbert and Sullivan’s Duke of Plaza Toro, and he also loved singing in choirs.

His funeral took place at St Nicholas Church in Nore Road, Portishead, yesterday (Tues).

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