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Newsletter 140 Spring 2023   Hampshire Mills Group

 

John Christmas, RIP

 

 

 

  

We are very sad to announce the sudden death of John Christmas in late December 2022.  John was a long-time member of both HMG, serving as Technical Advisor, and of Hampshire Industrial Archaeology Society (HIAS, formerly SUIAG), where he was Project Manager for a long period.  His skill and technical knowledge will be sorely missed.  He went on all the SUIAG and HMG study tours (holidays!), as seen here (far right, with his familiar brown leather hat) at Melin Llynnon on Anglesey in May 2018.

 

Ashok Vaidya

 

John had been ill on and off for quite a long time, and had spent several weeks in hospital in the autumn.  However, he appeared recently to be fine.  The results of a post mortem are awaited before a funeral can be arranged.
Dave Plunkett writes:  What a very sad Christmas shock!  JC, as he was known to many in Hampshire, was a renowned water engineer of the highest standard in my view.  He was immensely knowledgeable on water control issues at mills and it was a joy to discuss the finer points of molinology with him.

Crux Easton Wind Engine (right) was a late passion for him.  He devoted an enormous amount of time and effort to restore it to working order.  Lots of mills, water, tidal, and wind powered, as well as other IA projects in this county, benefited from his expertise.

I had known him for over 40 years and he was always a private man in personal life and I knew nothing of his family links.  We shall certainly miss him into the future when it comes to maintaining existing restored mills and their machinery.

 

 

Ruth Andrews

Ruth Andrews writes: I will miss John. When I first joined SUIAG (now HIAS), knowing nobody, I sat next to him on a coach trip and found him very interesting, and later I joined the 'Heavy Gang', where we coined the phrase 'waiting for Christmas' as he was not the most punctual of gentlemen. He was known for having his car absolutely crammed full of stuff (with the dog squeezed on top!), and it is reported that there are now two of his cars full of stuff to be dealt with, as well as a storage unit at Shawford.

 

Angela Smith writes:  JC was a great friend once you got beyond his apparent gruffness and would go out of his way to help people.

 

 

 

 

Clockwise from top left:

At the HMG Barbecue at Whitchurch Silk Mill
Angela Smith

At Donnington Mill, trying to free a bearing
  Ashok Vaidya

At Donnington Mill, floating in a replacement beam
Ashok Vaidya

Heavy lifting at Eling;  note the familiar large bunch of keys! Angela Smith

Working on a sluice at Sutton Mandeville (Greater Hampshire!)
Ruth Andrews

 

 

 

 

 
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