Happy Birthday to centenarian John Tipton

Posted by Tenby Museum on Sep 13, 2017 Blog No Comments

On Friday 15 September John Tipton DFC, LLB celebrates his 100th birthday.  John held the post of Honorary Curator at Tenby Museum between the years 1983 and 1995.

Tenby born, John studied law at London University, becoming a member of Inner Temple, before joining the Royal Air Force at the outbreak of World War Two.  John had a distinguished career with the RAF, serving as a navigator with 40 Squadron in Britain and Malta between 1941 and 1942, serving with 109 Squadron Pathfinder Force between 1943 and 1944 and as OBOE (Objective Bombing of Enemy) ground controller in the Netherlands between 1944 and 1945.   His oral history about his time in the services can be heard on the Imperial War Museum website. John reached the rank of Wing Commander.  For his services John was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar.  An equally distinguished career in the Civil Service then followed, with John and his late wife Margaret enjoying postings around the world.

In 1983 John and Margaret retired to Tenby and John was persuaded by the then curator Wilfred Harrison to become the fourth honorary curator of Tenby Museum.  John’s unsurpassed knowledge of Tenby and his administrative skills made him the ideal candidate for the position.  He also acted as consultant to Narberth Museum on its initial foundation and was a major consultant on the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park’s planned Tenby Town Interpretation Scheme.  During his 12 years tenure as Honorary Curator John was instrumental in instigating many changes and developments at the museum.  He also wrote a number of well regarded booklets including Tenby During World War Two, South Western Approaches, Charles Norris and Fair and Fashionable Tenby about Tenby’s development as a tourist resort.  The volunteers and staff described him as a “very kind and modest man but an inspiring leader.”

We wish Mr Tipton a very happy 100th birthday.  Two portraits of John completed by Claudia Williams and Doreen Hammersley will be displayed in the museum.

John Tipton