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Sad to report the passing of John Penton, a BARCS members from the early days.

His membership number was 274, one of our very early members.  I received the following tribute to him from Mike Proctor:-

 I learned last night, the very sad news that John Penton had died and I was hoping to have more details to post today but as yet I have not received them. However, I have had a few comments about John from people who I emailed yesterday and thought I would make a start by posting them on this thread, then others can post their own if they wish.

I met John when I started flying Open Glider in the early 70’s (I think?) and we often talked and towed for each other and many other York and Sheffield competitor friends. John would always help anybody in any way he could, including working on both the World Championships we ran in York and producing various bits of kit from time to time. He was an excellent builder. His, typically, sheeted wings were a shining example of the scarf-jointers art, as were his tissue finishes.

He also flew slope and indoor but like many of us he moved to electric power (perfect for an electrician) when his towing days were over and started a second career in those classes. Two years ago he was forced to retire, when he could not stand and stare upwards long enough to fly soarers.

He will be much missed


RIP John

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One of John's life long pals wrote the following tribute:-


 I first met John when I was about 14 years old and he was a couple of years older. We flew with the old North Sheffield club that was predominantly control line. We used to fly club rat race, and when his pilot decided to stop racing I teamed up with John, and we flew FAI team race, Goodyear, and Class B for about six or seven years. In addition John held the national speed record for 5cc speed.

 Whilst racing together he taught me to fly slope soarer's at various sites in Derbyshire  After he married Jackie we both decided to move into different areas of modelling. I took up model car racing (and still race with my son) whilst John began flying gliders winning the Nationals in 1983 (I think). Whilst we lived only about quarter of a mile from each other, work, and family commitments meant we didn't see one another very often. About 12 years ago I had a serious accident at work that damaged my hand and had to give up work. Having spent quite some time around the house over a two year period my wife "suggested" I find something to get me out of the house. I made contact with John (who was chairman of Sheffield Society of Aero modellers) and he agreed to help me to get back into model flying. At that time Jackie, having had a very serious stroke, was in a nursing home quite near. John began helping me get back into flying at the same time he was teaching an ex-workmate to fly.  With Jackie permanently in the home John became a regular visitor to our house for lunch two or three days a week. When Jackie passed away John became an even more regular visitor to our house for lunch prior to going flying.
 My wife and I introduced him to air shows and fast jets and bacon sandwiches, and we all visited the Vulcan in it's hanger on several occasions, as well as visits to Duxford air museum.  Increasingly back problems were causing him mobility problems, and he appeared for lunch one day at out house to announce he had stopped competition gliding.

Our threesome flying together had now become a four and on many occasions John commented how much he enjoyed our foursome flying together. Typical of last of the Summer Wine, we flew models, drank tea, ate chocolate biscuits, flew some more and generally put the world to right. John began to have some depth perception problems and at the end of last year, although we were working on ways of having him back flying this year.
About 18 months ago John discovered fast electric boats, and indoor free flight, he raced at Bridlington and Kingsbury Water Park in Birmingham. His indoor flying took him to Rochdale and Manchester as well as flying at the SSA indoor meetings. With John now moving between three groups of people we only got to see him about once a week, although we expected that to increase when we started Summer flying again. I received a phone call from a member of the club indoor free flight section asking if we had seen John that week. He had been to lunch with us on the Tuesday but no one had seen or heard from him since then.  We went to his house on the Sunday and were so concerned we called out the. police, who found him dead on the floor. Looking back at his computer and phone we think he passed away probably Wednesday night or Thursday morning. The coroners verdict was a heart attack and that it would probably have been very quick.  John left all his glider models to the club along with a generous donation from his estate. I know he thought no one in our club would use the models and hoped they would be sold with the income going to the club.

My wife and I will miss John, we still expect him to pull up outside our house for lunch. I'll miss a friend who taught me to fly radio control models twice! I think we've also lost one of the most competitive and competent modellers I have ever known. 


The service will be on Wed 6 Feb at 12:00 in the North Chapel at Grenocide Crematorium.

If anyone would like to attend they would be most welcome, black tie optional and were going to the Red Lion quite near after the service

Phil Carr

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