John Charles Yule was born in Middlesbrough in 1946, where he attended Acklam Hall Grammar School before going on to study medicine at Newcastle University in 1963. After qualifying, he worked successively at Carlisle and Dryburn Hospitals, until he joined the Medical Practice Group in Meadowfield, County Durham, in 1973.
Kind and infinitely patient, John was a dedicated GP until he began a well-earned retirement in 2009. Beyond medicine and the care of his patients, John had two great loves, his wife Margaret and his collections.
John collected widely, with great scholarship and discernment, from books to antique bottles, to assembling reference collections of Middlesbrough and Linthorpe pottery from his hometown. In later years, he and Margaret had the time to attend numerous antiques fairs, and this allowed John to continue searching out fine items for his collections, driven by his enormous enthusiasm and good taste.
John was the author of two scholarly works about antique bottles. His two-volume book Making Headway describes the transfer printed pottery bottles widely used for ginger beer and stout by North Eastern Brewers and Mineral Water companies during the late Victorian period and early 20th century. It also includes a detailed description of how the bottles were manufactured by the various (mainly) Scottish Potteries that made them. Nothing but the Blues represents the first comprehensive catalogue of the now highly collected blue glass mineral water bottles from North East England. Sadly, John died in 2019 and this was followed by Margaret's death after a short illness in 2023. John's collections of books, Middlesborough pottery and Linthorpe pottery are now being offered for sale at Tennants.
The Library of Dr John Yule will be offered in the 17th November Antiques & Interiors Sale, and his collections of Middlesbrough and Linthorpe pottery will be offered in the 20th Century Design Sale on 2nd March 2024. Highlights of the pottery collections are currently on display in The Garden Rooms galleries.