About Ted

About Ted - By Helen Doron

In 1995, I walked into the kite shop in Düsseldorf to work with the British owner who also did graphics in his back office. I had been brought there by my then agents (pre-franchising era for my company). They told me that I was going to meet a really interesting character who also worked with the Beatles. I met a giant of a man called Ted. We chatted and got on well. We later met again on a few occasions when I was back in Dusseldorf.

Quickly we realised how much we enjoyed each other’s company. Moreover, Ted was enthusiastic about the business of teaching English to young children and enthralled by the methodology. I needed a centre in Europe in order to penetrate the European market and together we decided to open the first European Helen Doron Learning Centre in Düsseldorf. With his characteristic childlike impetus, enthusiasm and no-fear attitude, Ted jumped feet-first into the business and lived it with fierce devotion.

Together we conquered Europe! We drove from place to place and country to country in Ted’s small car. People came to be trained as teachers and franchisees in our Düsseldorf Centre. Those were glorious days. Ted loved being surrounded by the lovely ladies, as well as the interesting men who also trained as teachers and franchisees. Of course, there were also the mothers and children in the Learning Centre.

Ted was essential and wonderful in the setting up of Helen Doron English in Europe. Whether it was setting up and sitting in exhibitions alone or with me, whether it was negotiating with and receiving franchisees, all felt his warmth and fun.

Yes, Ted was fun. Whoever I talked to, whether his good friend Margaret who Ted had known for over 50 years, or whether newer acquaintances, all would say how much fun it was to be with Ted. Indeed, Ted sharp and quick mind and his special humour never failed to make me laugh and keep me on my toes. Lots and lots of fun!

Yes, I know there were other sides to Ted. Yes, as one close friend said “He was always such a mess.” This would refer to his organizational abilities often getting him into fixes. However, all close to him would laugh that off and run forward with him for the warm-hearted, loving, passionate, Renaissance man and friend that he was.

Renaissance? Well, there was his interesting CV. Please note that the below facts and chronology are based on my integration and understanding of stories (“Never let facts get in the way of a good story.” Ted Jarrold) told by Ted.

  • Born Edward Charles Jarrold on 25th January, 1936 (sorry Ted, I know you never wanted me to tell your age!) in the East End of London, only child to Margaret and Herbert Jarrold.
  • Went to West Ham Boys Grammar School, which he left at the age of 16, despite the headmaster’s pleas that he stay on.
  • Worked at the de Havilland aircraft company – first in assembly, and later in sketching
  • Became an art student at Goldsmiths teacher training college. Told how he was won joint first prize at a painting competition alongside David Hockney. Became a teacher at Goldsmiths teacher training college.
  • At some point, moved to Wales married to a lady called Joy. Was divorced within a few years.
  • Became self-employed in the printing business.
  • At one point printed and brought to John and Yoko Lennon in hospital the record sleeve of their LP called ‘Two Virgins’.
  • All this time, sung bass in the Philharmonia choir and toured with them internationally.
  • At the age of 39, married a German medical doctor who he met through the choir. He moved to Germany, where he initially worked at the Düsseldorf exhibition centre.
  • He set up an advertising business.
  • His children, Nike and Alisdair, were born. His mother moved to Germany to help with the children.
  • Ted got leukaemia. Recovered after an operation, but without chemotherapy which he refused.
  • Ted divorced. Ted and his mother rented a 4 story house in the road next his ex-wife’s house, so the children could be with them.
  • Ted opened a kite shop in Düsseldorf. 
  • I met Ted ……….

In Ted’s work with the Helen Doron company, he was the warm, deep voice on the children’s recordings and videos, and was known to the students as Uncle Ted. Ted was a major factor in the success of the company, helping me launch the franchise while advising me and supporting me over the years. We always enjoyed our work together.

Ted spent the last eight years of his life living in Israel, up the road from me in Hararit, a mountain-top village overlooking the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean – a stunning view of which Ted never tired of taking photos. Indeed, photography and Apple computers were the passion of his latter years.

Every weekend, he ate with us in our house and swam with me in our pool. In the first years in Hararit, we would go for walks together. The last years saw Ted doing less walking and more computer work with his photography in his garden flat in Hararit where the wild view of Bet Netufa valley and the Sea of Galilee mixed with the BBC on TV and on the radio.

Ted worked in our company until he was confined to bed by severe back pains for two months before dying of a severe pulmonary embolism on 4th July 2013 aged 77. As I write this, I am still in a state of shock from our sudden loss. I would say “untimely” as there was so much still for him to do: finish videos he was editing, record the songs and conversations of Uncle Ted in our new video series ‘Jump With Joey’, run his own programme on Helen Doron Radio, and much more. But it was not meant to be. Ted made a sudden and elegant exit. We are left with a big hole (no offence meant, Ted!) in our lives.

Ted, we will love you forever.