John was a FR Society director from 1971 to 1986. He was a member of the Society's Management Committee and also of the Penrhyn Hostel sub-committee. He first worked on the Railway as a volunteer in 1967.  He arrived to do a week's building work and was promptly allotted the task of clearing up some very dusty coal at Harbour Station - a good way to discourage a new volunteer! He had been confused with a fireman who was expected. The mistake was put right and his interest in the FR survived. As was often the case his interest in the FR was first stimulated by a book which described Welsh narrow gauge railways and he was most impressed with the FR. He had travelled widely following his interest in steam, throughout Great Britain and abroad.
He then joined the East Anglian Group, helping them on waggon rebuilding projects, and becoming appointed to their committee. He became responsible for its sales activities from 1969. He was a builder by trade and had his own business having started out serving a five year apprenticeship in joinery. He lived in Cambridge. His building skills were put to good use around the Railway. He married Diana Williams in early April 1976 and post wedding celebrations took place on the 11.15 train on AGM day.