A security guard in Henley can greet people in 49 languages, according to the Henley Standard.

John Bowman works for a security company in Maidenhead and calls himself a “walking phrase book”. Despite only having been abroad twice, he can greet people in 49 languages and is semi-fluent in seven, including Russian and Italian.

Mr Bowman works next to a university, and so comes into contact with people from all over the world. These people teach him some of their language in return for his help, but his leaning secret?

He writes words on paper and recites them until he’s able to do it from memory.