1 June 1942 – 18 October 2019
I first met Terry in 1985 when I started work at Oxford Cartographers, then based in Beaumont Street in central Oxford. I was not long out of college, and Terry was unfailingly patient and happy to pass on his knowledge as I learned how he wanted editorial work to be carried out.
We moved to new offices in Eynsham the next year. I remember the move, with Terry’s beautifully constructed paper layout diagram (no computers then) with every piece of furniture drawn to scale and blue-tacked onto the master plan of the new office. Of course the move went smoothly, with each piece of furniture in place. For the first couple of weeks, with no water supply on site, Terry held the key to the site toilet and we had to request the key and walk across the building site to use the conveniences.
The new office had a large dark room as, pre-computers, our maps were made by scribing, peel coats and photo setting type, with colours and text combined photographically.
By this time we were heavily involved in the Peter’s World Map and Atlas. Terry made regular visits to Dr Arno Peters in Bremen to discuss and progress the atlas, which had regional maps of the world, all at the same scale, and in an equal area projection. Terry was the driving force, cartographically, behind the atlases, which included detailed hand-built block models to provide terrain imagery, and were published in German, French, Italian, Danish and both UK and US English.
As the first computers came into use for cartography, we were told we could not digitise all the line work for a map of the UK with the text too, as this would overload the system, so Terry found a work-around – digitise the line work, photoset the text and apply it by hand onto a punch registered film overlay sheet. As always, when new technology came into use, Terry tested it to its limits and found ways to achieve what he needed. He never, however, truly mastered the vagaries of our photocopier, and often had to be rescued from battering the buttons when the paper somehow jammed yet again.
We worked our way through the unification of Germany and the split of the USSR, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, along with multiple time zone, boundary and place name changes, all accurately recorded and dated and applied to the vast range of our copyrighted maps as they came up for revision.
Outside work Terry was visiting the local gravel pits in his lunch breaks and spare time to find and collect ancient animal bones and mammoth teeth and tusks, collecting and publishing papers on Indian punched silver coins, and organising archaeological trips to Namibia in search of stone hand tools.
Terry was a great colleague to work with. When things went awry he never blamed or pointed out our faults, he quietly gathered everyone, focussed on resolving the problem, and then after the issue had been fixed, looked at how to avoid a repeat. From him we learnt not only the satisfaction of a well constructed map, but also the way a team can function fairly even when projects go wrong. It was such an important learning environment.
I worked with Terry for 19 years, and he often visited the office after he had retired. Throughout this time Terry was always our point of reference for quality and accuracy. His high standards and attention to detail ensured the good standing of our work within the cartographic profession – a legacy carried on in Oxford Cartographers’ mapping today.