John Waygood

John Waygood, born in London in 1943, a forerunner of the baby boomers, is an Oxford graduate in languages and a qualified accountant, who spent his working life in industry in five European countries, including the UK, which he left fifty years ago. He and his family learned to cope with the subtle cultural differences with which one is confronted when living on the European continent. He describes, in a light-hearted way, what it is like trying to integrate abroad in Europe. He finally settled in Switzerland, where he retired and eventually adopted Swiss citizenship, in addition to his UK nationality.

Background: John attended Epsom College (Rosebery House) from 1956 to 1962, after which he went to the university of Grenoble, France for a summer course. In 1962 he went up to Worcester College, Oxford, to read modern languages, and graduated there in 1965. He then spent three years with Coopers, London, with whom he qualified as a chartered accountant in 1968, after which he left to pursue a career in industry. By then he was married with a family. Long fascinated by aircraft, he began in the aircraft industry, in Hatfield, as a project cost controller, initially on the European Airbus design project. In 1971 he joined Glaxo Group in London, in a team responsible for planning and budgeting, but left them in late 1973, with a view to “spending two or three years abroad”. His prophetic new boss, in Brussels, warned him that he would “likely never go back”. His account of “A Half-Century around Europe” commences with the family’s arrival in Belgium.

John Waygood with his dog
John Waygood skiing
John Waygood with his wife and dog
John Waygood with the Swiss flag