It was a severe shock to hear John had died in the Royal Bournemouth Hospital. This came just a few days after my visit. He told me he had not been feeling well for some time and had been admitted to hospital for tests. He looked tired but we chatted for a while and he said the tests had, so far, not shown the reason for his weakness. I suspected he had been overdoing things and knowing his heart was not strong thought the hospital rest would put things right.
I first met John at school: In 1953 or thereabouts we were both members of the Radio Club. He was two years ahead of me but in spite of this we became good friends and remained so. After leaving school John went to the BBC where the experience gained encouraged him to open Studio Republic, a recording studio, which he ran successfully until his retirement to Sandbanks in 2002.
For many years John was a member of the Home Counties ATV Club where he acted as Publicity Officer. So successfully did he promote ATV that I joined and remained a member until recently.
John joined the Bournemouth Radio Society early in 2003 and, in October of that year, he was voted on to the Committee. John’s publicity experience was useful to BRS; he prepared advertising material publicizing various events. During the visit of the Princess Royal in 2005 to open the extension to Kinson, John was our protocol liaison with the Palace.
Since joining BRS John has fulfilled many roles. He gave numerous talks to the Members, on a wide range of subjects. He organised Club outings: BBC Southampton, RNLI Poole and Bletchley Park are visits we all remember with pleasure. He was a strong supporter and was seldom absent from the 2 metre net, he was one of the team which installed the VHF antennae adjacent to room 5 at Kinson. He also hosted the “Mystery Objects“ evenings for a time. John was very keen to go out and about and frequently reported on other clubs and their events. He was a prolific contributor to the Newsletter with colourful stories and photographs.
John’s wife, Wendy, took on the job of Club Treasurer in July 2004 and the Club and its Members are tremendously grateful to her for this. 2005 saw John and Wendy undertaking the BRS Sale with great success and they continued organising this event until 2011. They have also arranged many enjoyable BRS Annual Dinners in recent years.
John has made a great contribution to the local radio community and we appreciate his commitment. John was a founder member of the Bournemouth Amateur Television Group (BATG) and, until his recent spell in hospital, could usually be seen on the repeater on Sunday evenings. He was also a keen member of the Solent Club for Amateur Radio and Television (SCART) and would usually join the Club net on Monday evenings.
I have tried to keep this to one page which means a good deal has been left out. However, the above is a tribute to John and his dedication to his hobby and the many friends who will miss him.
Our sympathy and condolences go to Wendy, her daughters and their families.
14th September 2012
Wendy, Vicki and Olivia would like to express our thanks and appreciation to all the members of the Bournemouth Radio Society for the support and messages of sympathy which we have received.
We are all still in shock at the speed at which John’s illness developed but the support, prayers and understanding received from all of you is helping to give us the strength needed to adjust to a very different life. Thank you also for the generous donation made to ’Breathing Matters’ which we really hope will help to further research into these rapidly developing lung diseases.
8th October 2012