My first boss, the chairman of my department when I was a young lecturer, was Wilfrid Harrison. Even though there was approximately 40 years’ difference between our ages, I would have described Wilfrid as a friend.
He was a distinguished and influential figure in many ways: the first person to be appointed a teaching fellow in politics alone at an Oxford college, a former editor of Political Studies and a founding member of the Political Studies Association – which still awards a major prize honouring his name. He was also the founding professor of the department, at the University of Warwick, in which I spent 35 years.
When Wilfrid retired, properly and traditionally at the age of 65, he sold all his books, severed all substantive contact with universities and devoted himself to his wife, his daughters, his dogs and his cooking (my memories of the latter are centred on the observation that whisky and cream seemed to feature in all his dishes).