At 77, John Wilkins knows more about computers than a lot of people more than half his age. He isn’t just a ‘silver surfer’ who browses the internet every now and then. That would be too basic for him, to use an old computer term.
No, John takes computing very seriously indeed and can design websites using WordPress, design yachts (more on that shortly) using Computer Aided Design (CAD) and is just as comfortable using the operating system Linux (you will need to Google it!) as he is with Windows.
So, needless to say he makes the perfect VAPP member!
But John’s story starts in the 1960s when he joined the Royal Navy. Initially enlisting and working as a stoker in the engine room, John went onto become a Chief Petty Officer at the end of his 14 years in the Navy. It was a job which took him around the world, including the Far East, Caribbean, and Australia, to name just a few far flung locations.
One of the ships he served on was the HMS Fearless, which was involved in Operation Motorman, a large operation carried out by the British Army in 1972. He says: “We carried tanks onboard that were put on shore to demolish the barricades at Derry.”
After leaving the Navy, John says he did various jobs and jokes that he was a “jack of all trades and master of none”!
Having had an interest in computers his whole life, when he retired, he spent more time on his hobby and has taught himself how to build websites using WordPress, as well as using CAD. He uses CAD to design yachts, having once been an apprentice yacht designer.
When John joined VAPP we were therefore only too happy to use his computer expert to help with our website.
John explains his reasons for joining VAPP: “I have always been a floating voter with no afflation to any one party, but there was something about VAPP which appealed to me. “Being a veteran definitely helped, but I liked the fact they were a party of the centre, which is where I have always sat, so it was a good match for me.”
John is married to Margaret and they live in Oldham, having originally grown up in Surrey. They have two children and two great-grandchildren.