John is a member of Tourism Concern and the Association of Business Historians. He is an expert on the history of the erstwhile Austro-Hungarian Navy and an avid collector of its postal history.

For many years he was heavily involved in the operation of Errol Station Railway Heritage Centre, winner of the 1991 Award for Best Preserved Railway Station in Britain.

John collects pottery manufactured by his great great grandfather, James Beech.

A keen genealogist, he was intrigued to discover that he is descended from the Devon Bastards, and is related by marriage to the Grantchester Nutters. His wife, Sue, is genetically Petty, Bland, Battie and a Hustler.

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