Sisters pay tribute to their ‘mischievous’ uncle

Uncle John with his dahlias.
Uncle John with his dahlias.

A former volunteer at Pitstone Green Museum and an ex-LBO employee has passed away, aged 98.

John (Jack) Brantom, of Poplar Close, Leighton Buzzard, died at Claremont House Care Home on February 27, after a short illness.

Two of his nieces have paid tribute to their ‘mischievous’ uncle who was always giving his time to help others.

Gwyneth Hopper said: “He loved to tinker with motorbikes. Him and his wife had a motorbike they would ride together and when David [his son] was born they got a side car for the bike and they would all travel together.

“He was always helping others, although he didn’t have a car, he still taught my dad to drive and we were all very grateful.

“We all knew him as Mr Fix It, when it came to anything to do with engineering, he could fix it.”

John worked for the LBO in 1934 on a seven-year apprenticeship as a printer, but only served six-and-a-half years as he was called up to the services in January 1940.

When he joined the army at the start of the Second World War, he thought he was going to the mechanical corps but it was actually the medical corps, he spent a lot of time on the hospital ships.

More recently, when he was in his 80’s, he spent his time volunteering at Pitstone Green Museum, he helped in the engineering workshop and specialised in restoring hand-operated machines.

Another niece Dilys Edwards, said: “My uncle was remarkable in many ways and always had a solution to fix any mechanical problem.

“He was very mischievous and when he was young, he and his friend built a hybrid machine from old motorbike parts and would ride around the fields in Heath and Reach, that’s how he damaged his hearing.

“He has had a lot of help and love from his neighbours and his friends from the museum over the years and last year his neighbours planted a show of dahlias in his garden, he loved those flowers. He was loved by a lot of people and he will be missed by many, at 98 he had a good life.”