The Nidderdale Voices column with John Myers

John Myers.
John Myers.

If you live in Nidderdale and think of computers a name that immediately springs to mind is that of John Myers. John has patiently wrestled with so many of us as we have struggled to understand and operate the intricate workings of modern communication.

John was born in Leeds, but the family moved to Harrogate in time for John to attend the earlier version of St Aiden’s – Christ Church Senior School.

I attend an adult violin making class at Rossett High School.

I attend an adult violin making class at Rossett High School.

John started his career with Flint TV.

Flint TV was a small company, the hours were long and apprentice’s wage was poor, so John moved on to work for Blackburn and Swallow where he was to remain for 38 years. Computers were starting to appear in offices and they proved an interesting sideline for John to pursue.

A breakthrough occurred when a friend introduced him to Lynne Cooke who was looking to further adult education at Pateley Bridge. The aim was to develop a ‘College of the Dales’. This was to be a collection of centres all connected to Craven College.

Pateley Centre would be at the High School and it would have as its title Nidderdale High School Community College.

John was swept along in Lynne’s ideas and almost immediately found himself in front of a class which had been advertised as ‘computing for farmers’. As you can well imagine it was very popular.

When in 2000 the position of Network Manager was instituted John gave up his daytime work at Blackburn and Swallow and devoted himself full time to working at Nidderdale High School. He was to remain there until his retirement.

Describe a typical day

Gardening. Coping with our large amount of grass gave me an interest in lawn mowers and this has led to an interest in buying and repairing old models. Woodwork was my passion at school and making or repairing furniture has always given me satisfaction.

It is good fun seeing how I can transform what I can pick up in the saleroom.

I attend an adult violin making class at Rossett High School. I have finished a violin and I am now working on a cello.

I now have time to maintain and improve our property and now, much to Hillary’s delight, I have almost completed the work on our home.

Retirement is a time for friends, and I do enjoy my fortnightly visits to the Camera Club in Ripon where I am chairman.

Photography has always been a hobby and at one time I put this to good use when I took wedding photographs.

Life is busy but I always make time for my visit to the Buddhist Centre in Harrogate.

What would be your perfect day out?

Somewhere with my grandchildren. My grandson likes trains and the railway.

Also, Hillary and I are now starting to enjoy trips over to the Continent and last year we even managed a holiday in Canada.

What is your favourite part of the Dale?

Middlesmoor. It is still special because it is untouched.

What is your favourite Nidderdale business?

With all my do-it-yourself work it has to be Todd’s.

What is the biggest change you have seen I Nidderdale?

Indiscriminate development.

What makes Nidderdale special?

Close knit community.

What is the one thing that you would like to change? – I would like more access to the river. In places it is fenced off and in others the bank is so overgrown that it is difficult to see the water.