John Powell - a tribute
|14 Nov 2020|
John Powell, affectionately known at the Old Veseyan Rugby Club as “ Puffles“, passed away peacefully at a Care home in San Pedro del Alcantara, Andalucia on the 5th October 2020.
John joined Bishop Vesey Grammar school in 1954. Throughout his time at Vesey he embraced many sports and learnt to play the bass guitar as part of the '50's Rock and Roll era. John excelled at cricket and rugby and became competent at tennis and squash. A dashing figure, we would often joke about the comb in the pocket of his shorts as he waited for the forwards to win the ball for the centres where he played!
His guitar playing led him to join up with “Whitehouse and the Congressmen” a rock and roll band that had some local success and comprised Vesey colleagues Phil Nash, Ed Tunnicliffe and of course, Johnny Whitehouse the frontman and singer. Ironically Nash and Whitehouse both played in the front row at rugby!
John's life changed suddenly in 1958 when his father passed away.
Further education went by the wayside and he left school to start work in order to support his mother, sister Diane and himself. John joined a sales training course at Unilever and was the envy of his cohort in his large Ford Zephyr. The sales training stood him in good stead and as he developed into a shrewd businessman, he joined Gainsborough Precision engineering in Aston who had started making electric shower units. It was during the time at Gainsborough that he met Ian Steele - a direct installer of bathrooms and shower units in the London area .
John and Ian formed a partnership and set up Triton Aquatherm Ltd.
They initially started making units in a small factory in Atherstone. At the time there were 15 manufacturers of electric shower units in the United Kingdom so competition was fierce. They decided to tackle the shopping catalogues, popular at the time and also the electricity boards, who were just beginning to fit showers into the homes of customers. The company expanded rapidly moving from the small unit in Atherstone to a factory in Nuneaton and then to a large purpose-built factory. They sold the company in 1986. John by this time had taken up golf becoming extremely competent and was a member at Moor Hall Golf Club prior to his move to Spain.
John set his target to retire at the age of 40 but managed to achieve his ambition by the age of 45 . He loved the sunshine and atmosphere of southern Spain and moved there permanently in 1990.
In the ensuing years he built family homes in the area and at the age of 60 he moved out to the mountainous area behind Marbella and remained there until poor health forced his move to the care home.
He was a keen member of El Paraiso golf club becoming Captain. He was appointed chairman but unfortunately unable to take up the position due to deterioration in his health.
A lifelong sociable character, John and his second wife Jane, always enjoyed entertaining friends, and held numerous and memorable parties at their house in the village. Jane passed away in May of this year.
John is succeeded by his three children Debbie Powell Adrian Powell and Stephen Powell.
From life long friend Michael Hearn (1952-60)
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