Tributes to popular Grantham teacher John Cattermole

Lou's favourite picture of her father, John.
Lou's favourite picture of her father, John.
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A POPULAR and much-loved teacher who taught hundreds of Grantham people passed away at the weekend, aged 58.

John Cattermole began his teaching career at Blessed Hugh Moore School in Grantham before moving on to Central School in 1979. He went on to become head of science and remained at the school for more than 20 years, finally leaving to teach in Sleaford in late 2002.

John’s daughter Lou Coulam said: “He was a very strict teacher and he even taught myself, so I know!

“But you knew how far you could push him. If you pushed him too far you knew about it!

“But he was such an easy going person and had a lot of time for people.”

Lou has been overwhelmed by the touching cards and messages sent to John’s family since his death from cancer on Sunday, as well as the hundreds of supportive messages left on Facebook.

A memorial group on the social networking website attracted 400 members this week, with many leaving heartfelt tributes and memories.

Lou said: “We just want to thank people. Everyone has been so amazing - especially on the memorial page on Facebook.

“It makes me so proud of him. So very, very proud of him. He was one great man and he was loved by many.”

Music was a big part of John’s life after he learned to play the guitar in his 20s. He played for numerous bands, travelling the country in the process.

Lou said: “His music was his love but he didn’t pick up a guitar until he was 25. He was very proud of that because most people learn at a young age.

“Music was a very big part of his life – he just loved to play.”

John grew up in Grantham and attended the King’s School. His wife, Jenny, passed away 11 years ago and soon after he moved away from Grantham to Sleaford, where he worked at Carre’s Grammar School.

Lou said: “He had a lot of tragedy in his life. My mum was his soulmate and she died in 2000 so it was just him and me for a long time.

“Family always came first for him. He worshipped me and, at the end, he was always telling me how proud he was of me.

“He was a very, very big and very dedicated family man.”

The funeral service will be held at St Denys’ Church, Sleaford, at 4pm on Monday with cremation to follow at Grantham at 5pm and donations going to Macmillan Cancer Support and Sands.

DANNY Short, of Stirling Court, Grantham, was taught my Mr Cattermole at Central School and set up the memorial Facebook page in his honour this week.

Danny said: “It wasn’t until Year 10 that we really got to know the man and legend that was JC. As a form tutor for our final two years of our GCSEs he was always there to chat to and console.

“Invitatons to see his beloved band play at various locations were the pinacle of the man - he embraced everyone in his passion for music.

“After school had been and gone, the respect for him never stopped. Seeing him out and about the streets of Grantham still made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

“I am honoured to have met this great man in my life. All students should have a teacher like JC at their school.”