John Haynes - the man behind the manuals

14/02/19 . News

The Men’s Health Forum was sad to hear of the passing of John Haynes at the age of 80.

The Haynes Man manual created a new genre.​The publishing giant, and founder of the iconic Haynes manuals, had been a friend of the Forum since its very inception.

The first Man Manual, a hardback book in much the same format as the brand’s legendary motor handbooks, was published in 2002. Written by the Forum’s then president Dr Ian Banks, it was an instant best-seller and gave rise to the series of paperback manuals that the Forum continues to produce with Haynes support. Those manuals have sold over a million copies down the years.

It’s fair to say the Forum probably wouldn’t be here without John Haynes. Thanks John.

Dr Ian Banks writes:

They say cars and sex are inextricably linked. Well John Haynes proved this by publishing the Haynes Sex Manual which, not surprisingly perhaps, was a best seller.

It was launched in the night club Tiger Tiger to an audience of journalists who were more than a tad perplexed over the shift n gears. Almost as an inevitable result, he went on to publish the Haynes Baby Manual. There is a statistic somewhere about the number of people on Planet Earth conceived in cars, especially those with reclining seats. It too was (and still is) a best seller.

John Haynes applied a simple approach to life. If something should break then it must, if at all possible, be mended rather than discarded. Cars are notorious for breaking down. But then so too are people’s, relationships, health, jobs. He recognised that people (particularly men) would pay more attention to the well being of their cars than their own health. His first attempt to correct this came with the MAN manual. During the production of this particular workshop repair guide, it’s publisher, Ian Mauger, sadly died. It was a huge shock to the writers, editors, production staff and John himself but reinforced his determination to take forward this line of Haynes Manuals. So there came the Cancer Manual which won the Plain English award, Woman Manual informing men about women's health. The HGV Manual dealt with obesity and was probably ahead of its time.

In this throw-away age, John Haynes recognised that people like the cars they drove were too good to dispose of when not performing optimally. Yes, people are more complicated than cars and a 3/8th ring spanner won’t always do the trick. But his basic philosophy stood; repair is good but prevention is better. I am sure his next manual will be WINGS. We shall miss him.

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