I left W/Hill in 1964 having spent most of my life at 24, Luke Terrace Wheatley Hill which is no longer there and now a grassed over area. In 1964 I joined the Army and served as a Musician in the Durham Light Infantry and Irish Guards Bands. I also spent a year at the Royal Military School of Music Kneller Hall. I returned to W/Hill in 1973 and for the next six years worked in various building roles for Easington District Council,during this period I also played for Hammond Sauce Works Band in Shipley Yorkshire and the Ever Ready Band in Tanfield Lea County Durham. In 1979 I joined the Metropolitan Police and served in various roles for 22 years, one as a Royalty Protection Officer at St James Palace on protection duties for The late Queen Mother. I was also a Specialist Search Team Officer on anti terrorist and serious crime searches. On retiring from the Met I had a break and then spent a year working as a Manager for Transport for London Buses managing bus stations and the last three years as Assistant Macebearer/Chauffeur for the Mayors of Croydon.
John with wife Pam and daughter Samantha.
John passed away on the 21st of July 2014 at home in Caterham, Surrey. He had been fighting a long battle with cancer over the years. John was a good friend from the village and over the years had supplied me with lots of information about the village and some of the people that we knew while there. I will miss him greatly, he was a good soul and he enjoyed his time with the brass bands that he played in and I'm sure he will be playing in one wherever he is. I always remember he and I playing football on the Girls School field.....good times, not forgotten.
I received the following photographs from John's family and thought I would add them here.....
The first one shows John in the background as part of the Royalty Protection Team. John is shown to the left of the Queen.
Not sure where this was taken as when John was in the Durham Light Infantry he was stationed in Cyprus and also Honk Kong.
Not sure about this one but it shows John at work helping someone.