It was with great shock and sadness that the Branch heard of the death of John on 14th November 2016 following a fall during the early hours whilst at home.
John joined the RCTS during the mid/late 1950s and for those 60 years as a member he had been a most loyal and active supporter of the Society invariably present at outdoor visits, indoor meetings, branch dinners and exhibitions held by the Branch, even as much as he could whilst on national service in the RAF. In fact he was at the Branch's visit to Doncaster the previous week and was searching out photographs for possible inclusion in the new "LMS Pacifics" book. In addition he would always offer to give the Branch talks at its meetings, the last of which was in September 2015.
In 1981 he was instrumental in the focus of the Branch changing from being centred on Liverpool to Chester and he held the positions of Fixture Secretary, Branch Secretary and then Chairman before being invited to become President of the Branch at the start of 2016, which he was honoured to accept, extremely proud and somewhat humbled by the honour which had been bestowed upon him, but then that was John.
For many years he had lived alongside the CLC line near Chester Liverpool Road station and gained a fondness for the LNER, ultimately particularly "anything Gresley". At one time he worked for a company which did work for Shell and one job he relished came by chance because of his great interest in railway photography, when he was asked by his company to photograph every inch of a pipeline, both before and after the work was carried out, which during the mid 1960s was being laid between Stanlow and Heysham. Most people would have thought this to be a rather mundane and boring task, but John relished the thought of the possible unusual locations at which he may also get some railway shots, crossing the Manchester Ship Canal at Acton Grange Jct. to name but one location for which task he had a lineside permit!
He was always there quietly in the background with his support and help whenever it may be required and he will be very sorely missed by all who were fortunate to know him for he was not just a fellow member but also a friend.
John was also Chairman of the Merseyside Railway Society and I am sure he will be missed by its members as much as we will miss him.
Our thoughts go out to his daughter Susan, son Stephen and his grandchildren.
John's funeral was held at Blacon Crematorium on the afternoon of 9th December. 17 members attended, which showed the esteem and warmth in which he was held by the members of the Branch.
last updated: 17/12/16