John Hyatt

Letter by Jim Huggon, Suffolk

ImageI was extremely saddened to hear of the death of John Hyatt. We first met when John (then living in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, I think) was a teenager in the 1960s on the Coast to Coast Peace March from Hull to Liverpool. Later we got to know each other when we were both working at Housmans – where I worked from 1969-1982 – John also working down the road at the PPU and upstairs at both Peace News and WRI as well – at different times.

He was a lovely guy and the easiest person to work with.

Lastly a brickbat – if the cartoon on p13 of the October issue of PN was supposed to be funny, IT WAS NOT! It was a very sad reflection of the movement’s enslavement to computers and rejection of books. Doubly ironic considering that you have Housmans Bookshop downstairs.

If I have somehow missed the point of the cartoon, then all I can say is that the irony was lost on me and maybe others too!


Editor response: For those who can’t remember it, Tony Telford’s cartoon showed six people, five of whom were using laptop computers and appeared to be in some sense respectable (they were labelled “CEO”, “teacher”, “activist”, and so on). The final person was apparently a tramp, reading a 1908 book by WH Davies: The Autobiography of a Super-Tramp.  This book ends with a few poems by WH Davies, including his famous poem “Leisure”, which begins: “What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare?” We hope this is the key to understanding that the label “Loser” attached to the sole bookreader was ironic, and that Tony Telford and Jim Huggon share very similar views. – Eds