If you need John in a hurry then chances are you’ll need to track him down on four wheels.
The 63-year-old doesn’t have a mobile phone and, frankly, doesn’t want one.
“I once had one for emergencies but accidentally dialled 999 from my pocket so I turned it off and threw it in a drawer. And what’s all this nonsense about social media? I’m just happy with the paper.”
Of course, you’ll never have to go too far to find him for he doesn’t even own a passport.
“Why would I need one? I’ve got everything I need here,” he smiles. “I was born at Yorton and haven’t gone very far since. I have been to Cornwall and Cumbria but one was for my honeymoon 38 years ago!”
The estate gardener, John is never happier than when surrounded by shrubs, lawns and woodland.
“I love being outside, even in this weather,” says John, sporting a lovely colouring. “It’s created a few issues with the lawns but we’re more than able to manage that.”
Loyalty is the bedrock of John’s character. With his wife Julia for more than 40 years, he’s also spent nearly 19 years at his first job on the farm at Yorton Villa and then another 28 at Grinshill stone quarry.
“I started at Yorton when I was 13 and left school at 15 to work there full time,” he remembers. “I’m a practical person…not one for paperwork…so it suited me down to the ground. But the job I have now is absolutely perfect – I love every minute and it came along at just the right time. When you get to my age you begin to think the opportunities won’t come but it’s been a real breath of fresh air at Sansaw.”
While, naturally, John can’t take his work home with him, there’s more of the same when he gets to the front gate.
“I live on the estate and our garden is 100m long and 12m wide. There’s also half an acre next door to look after which means three hours mowing a week at home!”
Away from work, he loves spending time with his grandchildren, Ollie and Max.
“We usually have the grandkids at some stage at the weekend. It’s fun taking them to the shows because they’re so full of beans.
“Other than that you can find me pottering around the garden, sawing and splitting wood which I also do for my 87-year-old father-in-law, or falling asleep in front of the TV with the paper.”