Born in Heckmondwike W Yorkshire in February 1928, the son of a boot factory worker. John went to Heckmondwike Grammar School, then Leeds University.
John’s first experience of the Lake District was as a teenager with a church youth group in 1944, followed by visits with his father and siblings.
In the early 1950s he worked as an instructor at Eskdale Outward Bound School, where he subsequently became Principle, following on from Eric Shipton.
After a number of years away from Cumbria working in the steel industry, John and his wife returned in the early 1980s and John became involved with the Mountain Trial Association, planning routes, and ultimately became President of the Association.
John recalls feeling at home when in the high fells and is pleased to see so many enjoying the countryside today. He has noted the different paths made by fell runners and alternative routes related to Wainwrights walks.
"I've got so much enjoyment from being in the hills I'm jolly glad when other people can, and when I've, been out on the hills a lot on my own, I mean I still go with my wife and friends, own, and I like to be alone on the hills, and I don’t mind meeting people, but… and when I'm out with my wife, we, we find that we are, we’re walking silently, we're not sort of talking all the time, there are other times to talk somehow, you know! And it's just great to be in the hills."