brief life

 

Born 60 years ago in Macclesfield, the second child (of three) to Baptist minister Rev George Froud and his wife, Joan, John grew john11up in a home where Christianity and music were integral parts of family life. His dad’s  piano playing had earned him letters after his name, and he had played the church organ at Cheadle regularly in his youth. He sang with choirs, either as tenor or bass, whatever was needed, .John’s mum was a competent pianist too, and from an early age he would sing  along as his mum and later big sister Shirley played from the news Chronicle Song Book.

Aged 6, he was “put to the piano” but because it wasn’t round and he couldn’t kick it, John was less than rigorous in his practice and the lessons soon stopped.

In 1960 the family moved to Bradford where little brother Andrew was born, Shirley was married, and John fell in love with Bradford City.

Bradford then was also the home of the Eastbrook Hall, where John and his dad went one evening in 1965 to see a band, the Joy Strings, who had appeared on television. Dressed in full Salvation Army uniform they played pop music with honestly Christian lyrics. John identifies this evening as one of the major turning points in his life where he made his own decision to follow Jesus, and where he realized that songs were more than entertainment: a powerful means of getting a message across.

He would be 18 before he bought his first guitar, and realizing that Big Bill’s technique was beyond him, set out to develop his own way of playing blues.

In Middlesbrough for his sixth form years, John met Sheena after a concert. They went to separate colleges to qualify as teachers, but both got jobs in 1974 in Bradford.

Teaching in a Middle school, John coached football teams and a band of competent 13 year olds who took their music into primary schools and old people’s homes. This gave him an vision of what he might do...a sympathetic headteacher allowed him a sabbatical year to test the vision and John’s new life working in schools had begun. That was 1994. Almost 20 years on, and recovered from a heart attack, he works by day in schools, in the evenings plays for grown-ups and on Sundays leads worship usually at Shipley Baptist Church.