Newsletter 116, Spring 2017 © Hampshire Mills
June 1927 - December 2016
Andy Fish, Chairman of the Hampshire
Mills Group was very sorry to announce at the
December 10, 2016 meeting that John Reynolds had
recently died. Phil Turner gave members a brief
resumé of John’s life. He was a man of many parts
and had an extensive knowledge of mills. He was
able to do technical drawings of mills with great
skill – long before the age of computers – and Phil
showed members some of these, taken from John’s
well-known book Windmills and Watermills.
John designed the cap for Bursledon Windmill and was
very involved with Whitchurch Silk Mill. He was
also a talented artist. He was a delightful man who
will be much missed.
Subsequently Pam Moores and Phil
Turner wrote the following appreciation of John
John Reynolds (always known as John) was born in
Boxworth, Suffolk. With his family, he moved as a
child to Canterbury, but went to boarding school,
with his elder brother, in Fleet. John’s
Christian faith was central to his life and as a boy
he acted as a server and incense bearer.
At 15, John decided to follow a
career as a Merchant Navy Officer. He joined the
Training Ship Worcester in 1942, and studied there
until 1945, when he went to sea, on the Telemachus,
of the Blue Funnel Line. During his service John
travelled all over the world, including the USA,
Australia, and the Far East.
John met Joan in Canterbury and they
married on 20 October 1951. This caused John to
rethink his career intentions, and he left the sea
to embark on a career as an architect. He joined a
local practice until he and Joan moved to Suffolk,
where he took a job with West Suffolk District
Council. He continued his studies, and the couple’s
two daughters were born during the time in East
Anglia. In 1960, John completed his qualifications
and took a job with Hampshire County Council. The
family moved to Hatherley Road, Winchester, where
they lived for the rest of their life together.
Amongst the projects
he worked on at HCC were Bursledon Windmill,
Whitchurch Silk Mill, Basing House, and Odiham
Castle. John was a perfectionist who always did his
drawings in the traditional way, using a tape for
measurements. In 1970 his book Windmills and
Watermills was published after many years of
Even after his
retirement from HCC, John remained busy and
dedicated. He was Clerk of Works for some years at
Twyford Waterworks, was a founding member of the
Winchester and District Model Engineering Society,
and an active member of Hampshire Mills Group.
He retained his love
of the sea, had a sailing dinghy at Warsash, and was
a keen member of the Society for Nautical Research
John loved to paint as
well as draw, and his fine paintings were often to
be seen in exhibitions by the Art Club in
Winchester. Themes might be nautical or scenes
chosen on family holidays in Wales.
John worshipped at St
Bartholomew’s Church in Winchester for many years
and played an active role in the church as well as
helping with structural problems. He was, above all
a devoted family man and enjoyed seeing his family
grow – three grandchildren and twin great grandsons,
with another on the way by the time of his death.
His health was declining when he and Joan celebrated
their 65th Wedding Anniversary in October 2016, but
he was able to enjoy a party with his family. John
passed away peacefully in early December.
John Reynolds was a gentleman in every sense and
will be much missed by all who knew him.
(With thanks to John’s
Grandson, Will, for information from the tribute he
delivered at John’s funeral).
Three illustrations by John
Hockley Mill – One of his splendid isometric
Whitchurch Silk Mill – front elevation and section