Charity fundraiser John Davies, known as Stratford's Mr Lifeboatman, has died aged 89
JOHN Davies, who was given the title of Stratford’s Mr Lifeboatman, has died aged 89.
Born in Birmingham in 1933, John had problems with his legs and spent time in hospital and had to wear callipers.
His family were bombed out during the Second World War and John was evacuated to Weston-super-Mare to stay with relatives. It was there that he learnt about the RNLI – he was taken many times to see the lifeboat – and a passion was ignited.
After school, John served in the RAF and spent time based at RAF Butterworth in Penang, Malaysia, in the 1950s.
He was an extremely keen sportsman, playing rugby, judo and badminton and taking part in cross-country running, snorkelling and climbing.
It was while walking with Birmingham Ramblers that he met Cathy – his future wife – when she slipped down a hill, bringing him down with her. It was the start of a relationship that lasted for 52 years.
John travelled extensively around the former Yugoslavia, climbing mountains, sailing down the Adriatic coast and staying on various islands so he could swim in the beautiful sea.
Both John and Cathy joined a friendship society, based at Birmingham University, which linked with physics graduates from Belgrade University.