Quote from the Old Stoic Magazine (1990)

James Ewens joined the staff at Stowe at very short notice in April 1981 because the school found itself quite unexpectedly without a master to look after the metalwork in the “Boys’ Workshop”. He then stayed for nearly nine years and did much more than just look after the metalwork teaching.

He had had a varied and fascinating career before he came to Stowe. He had been a recording engineer at Abbey Road Studios and developed a passion for the work of several of the opera singers and musicians he had recorded there. Later he became engineer to the Royal Opera House and then the Old Vic Theatre. He had aslo run jazz and folk music clubs in London, as well as a small printing works.

In his early years at Stowe he was Under Housemaster to Grenville and many boys from that time will remember his ever-open door and his willingness to give very large amounts of his time if thought he could help. Later he moved out of Grenville and married Alison.

During his time at Stowe design gained in numerical strength and academic stature. He played a major role in developing and supporting the new courses and teaching methods. He gave to to pupils developing projects in subjects close to his own interests, many hours of his time and energy. Many “A” level design projects owed much to his love of helping an enthusiastic pupil achieve high standards.

It was not just in the design department he contributed. Stowe’s theatre production benefited tremendously from his expertise particularly from his experience with stage lighting. He brought professional technical standards to all the productions he was invovled in.

However, James’s greatest contributions to Stowe was his development of photography and printing. The enthusiasm and long hours that he put into this encouraged Stoics to produce some of the best photography that Stowe has ever seen.

James has been one of Stowe’s character in recent years: striking to look at, often marvellous company for both Stoics and staff, with a sharp wit and strongly held and interesting views on wide range of subjects. Stowe will be duller without him.

The Old Stoic (M.A.C.)

1990, Stowe School

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