I interviewed him for the British special of etc Magazine and found myself welling up in the car afterwards. (You can read the whole article here.)
He’s kind, he’s funny and he’s a charmer. He’s 82, but told me if he was 20 years younger I would be in trouble. But at the same time he reminds me SO much of my late Grandfather. To the point he wants to meet my manfriend and make sure he is good enough for me.
Despite having only met him once I consider him to be a friend already and I can’t wait for the next time we can share a cuppa.
But enough about our story and more about his…
However John, from Southwater is no ordinary photographer.
And in this Jubilee year he has an extra special story to tell.
“I was in Kenya with Princess Elizabeth and the Duke when the news came through that the king had died,” he recalls. “I hired a taxi hoping to photograph Princess Elizabeth, now Queen Elizabeth, leaving for London.”
But when he arrived he was informed by an official that her majesty had requested no pictures were taken. So, along with three photographers, John placed the cameras on the ground beside them as the cars left the lodge in a cloud of dust.
“Not one of us took a shot of that historic moment,” he explains. “Seeing the young girl as Queen of Great Britain drive away I felt her sadness as she just raised her hand to the three of us as we stood there silent.
“I still feel to this day that I was one of the first to see the Princess as Queen, while the sight of those cars with Her Majesty waving at us so sadly was a moment I will never forget.”