John Eustace Whittaker was born near Burnley, Lancashire on 25 September 1945 and educated at St Mary's College, Blackburn. Despite being a devoted Lancastrian, fate has decreed that since leaving school he has spent the rest of his life elsewhere and he is now a resident of south Essex. His interest in earth science was stimulated by the Geography and Geology teacher at St Mary's College, Ken James, and consequently he entered the then University College of Wales, Aberystwyth to read Joint Geography and Geology in 1964. John was, however, ‘rescued’ from the geographical side of things by the redoubtable...

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