It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of our oldest Alumni John Walton. 

John was an incredibly special gentleman who attended Edge Grove as a child in its very early years between 1937 and 1941, returning later as an adult to teach art. His sons, Roland and James and grandson Phillip followed in his footsteps, attending the school in later years.

John trained in art at the Slade School of Art, post war, earning a reputation as a skilled portrait artist and was commissioned to paint many eminent figures. 

He was the Principal of Heatherley School of Fine Art since the 1970s and continued to paint well into his 90s. 


Whilst teaching at Edge Grove, he painted many backdrops for the theatre productions that were put on here and taught the boys a special technique to create incredibly detailed scenery.

He also painted some of the headmaster portraits that used to adorn the stairs in the Main Reception.

In 2017 he returned to give a master class to our art scholars and shared some of his work he had created over the years.

His directness on telephone conversations, with a firm greeting ” Walton here!” will be a long lasting memory for me and it was a pleasure to spend time in his company listening to his detailed recollections and stories of each painting he created, right up until a few months before he died.

He leaves his wife, Alice, daughter Victoria and sons Roland and James to whom we send our sincere condolences. 

A very special character who will be greatly missed.

Thank you John for everything you gave to Edge Grove.

Sue Maughan, Edge Grove Governor