The Prescotian Webzine

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Warwick Evans by Glyn Phillips

What a great bloke he was to have as a teacher. No pushover though. He took us for a short while in the first year and one day started to teach us some binary maths. While he was standing there teaching he was also wiring up a strange primitive calculator with loads of bulbs and wires. Anyway, he wrote out a 4 or 5 digit binary number and asked us its value. A few hands went up and he asked me the answer, which I gave. He smiled encouragingly and asked me to explain how I’d arrived at my answer. I foolishly went through a description of how the values of the columns from right to left went up 1,2,4,8,16 etc and the implication of a 1 or a 0 in each column. He looked very pleased and asked to explain how I knew all that. So, even more foolishly, I proudly told him how we’d done it before in my Primary School the year before. All through this he nodded and smiled approvingly, and when I finished told me the answer was wrong. Cool as you like with that amazing ‘Pancho Gonzales’ moustache and loud check jacket, he was also a pretty good jazz pianist.

At some point in about 67 or 68 we had a school concert and ‘Pedro’ sat down at the piano and started to play. Within the first bar or two the whole school had recognised the tune, Bach’s ‘Air on a G string’, and a loud giggle went round the SB Hall. This was of course as a result of the TV ad for Hamlet cigars. Well ‘Pedro’ was not in the slightest amused and stopped playing, glared about the whole Hall, asked what was so funny and then only started playing again when silence returned. Some ominous ‘Jazz Man’………yeah……wow……cool. By 68–70 concert going was the thing for us. Went to a few, especially at L’pool Students’ Union. They nearly always seemed to be by ‘Ten Years After’. Saw them at least four times and I swear that at each gig when I went to the Bar for a lemonade (yeah, right) Warwick ‘Pedro’ Evans was always sitting there…..reading a book....having a pint.....True. Always gave a cheery greeting. Good bloke indeed!

Editor's note: Sadly, Warwick Evans passed away in July, 2000 after a long battle against cancer. A memorial postcard of Warwick at the electric piano, titled, 'Let the Good Times Roll' is pictured above. Please find a further article entitled, Celebration of the Mathematics Life of Warwick Evans [2ndJune,2001] by Trevor Powell


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