David Aukin, who was a studentwith Jones at Oxford, said: “He was far more than one of thefunniest writer-performers of hisgeneration, he was the completeRenaissance comedian – writer,director, presenter, historian,brilliant children’s author, andthe warmest, most wonderfulcompany you could wish to have.” “Terry enriched all of our lives and I was privileged to spend three glorious years studying with him at Oxford in the early sixties. Terry had the extraordinary ability to embrace all that life offered him. Of course Terry is famous for his roles in revues, but he also took on major roles in a number of drama productions. Remarkably he didn’t allow his acting and writing to detract from his studies which he took seriously, demonstrating genuine academic talent, later manifest in his many published books. Like many who knew him, I remain in awe of what Terry managed to pack-in to an extraordinary life. He will be missed.” Jones was a valued student of Oxford University during the 1960s when he read English Literature at St. Edmund’s Hall. He went on to become an Honorary Fellow of the College in 1999. During his time at Oxford he wrote sketches for the Oxford Revue. It was there that he met his life-long friend Michael Palin, who later worked with him on Monty Python. Sir Michael described Jones as “one of the funniest writer-performers of his generation”, adding that: Jones wrote and starred in MontyPython’s Flying Circus TV show andthe comedy collective’s films, as arange of much-loved characters.He directed Monty Python andThe Holy Grail with Terry Gilliam,which was released in 1975. Healso directed 1979’s Life of Brianand The Meaning of Life in 1983. “Terry was one of my closest, most valued friends. He was kind, generous, supportive and passionate about living life to the full. Terry Jones, the beloved MontyPython star, died on Tuesdayevening, four years after beingdiagnosed with dementia. St Edmund’s Hall has said itis “deeply saddened” to hear ofJones’ passing and that he will be“sorely missed by the Teddy Hallcommunity”. He was also known for hiswriting; he has written variouscomedies, published a numberof poems in the Poetry Review,columns for newspapers includingThe Guardian, The Daily Telegraph,and The Observer, and wrote thescreenplay for the 1986 film TheLabyrinth. Born in Cowley Bay, Wales, Jonesattended The Royal GrammarSchool in Guilford, where he wasschool captain from 1960-61. Afterhis graduation from Oxford, Jonesappeared in Twice a Fortnight withPalin, as well as The Complete andUtter History of Britain and Do NotAdjust Your Set. The latter wouldbecome their template for work tocome with Monty Python. In 2012 Jones donated over 700 books to the college library, and was the keynote speaker at the Hall’s Research Expo event in 2015, giving a lecture about his research on the Ellesmere Manuscript.
Forget all the hype around possible elections. Tucked away in Gordon Brown’s speech a few months ago at the Labour Party Conference in Bournemouth was a real gem: the PM talking about how he wanted the UK to be leading the global economy, with modern manufacturing at the heart of his vision of the future.That was music to my ears; manufacturing often feels ignored by government and Brown’s words chimed with the theme for FDF’s fringe event, hosted with the GMB trade union and entitled ’Feeding the nation and its economy – recognising the value of the UK’s food and drink manufacturers’.We had two ministers speaking at the event – Stephen Timms MP, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, and David Lammy MP, Minister for Skills. I was particularly struck that both men felt the biggest challenge facing companies was raising the image of manufacturing to ensure it continued to attract the talent it needed to prosper. Lammy talked about the need for government, unions and industry to work together to ensure children really understood the benefits of building a career in manufacturing, while Timms floated the idea of creating a ’Manufacturing Media Centre’ to promote the good news stories from all sectors.Given that we are one manufacturing sector that sometimes feels taken for granted, this event was a positive session – and one on which we hope to build in the coming months.