John Barry Nowell, who has died at 83, was a pharmacist with experience long enough to remember making tablets, lotions and medicines by hand.
Born in the “poets’ corner” of Barkerend, Bradford, a long-gone area whose epithet reflected its enclave of streets named after Wordsworth, Tennyson and Chaucer, he originally planned to study medicine – but his father, himself a pharmacist - advised him the better money was to be made there.
Graduating as student of the year for 1958 from Bradford Technical College, now the city’s university, he joined his father’s pharmaceutical practice, an establishment that predated the factory-made tablet counter.
In the 1970s he became a locum, a life which in those days involved taking midnight trains to far-flung parts of the country, and after a spell in Leeds he set up a family business called Locums 4U.
Happy to discuss any ailment, even after retirement, he remained convinced of the efficacy of idiosyncratic cures such as the consumption of Italian tinned tomatoes for prostate problems.
Away from work, he was a keen collector and acquired a considerable hoard of antiques and objets d’art.
He is survived by his wife, Evelyn.