John Franklin

December 17th 2020

No year should end with sad news but this year continues to take more than it gives.

Our friend John Franklin has passed away due to covid complications.

John wasn’t just a volunteer, he was a shoulder anyone could lean on. You didn’t even need to ask, he’d just be there ready to listen to any problem you had. He’d encourage and support, and not judge. You couldn’t know John and not like him, John found many friends in BCV.

He volunteered not only with BCV but also The Wildlife Trust, and the Trust’s Men in Sheds group, a group that helps isolated men find a place and a purpose in the community. John’s ability to connect with people helped these lost individuals open up and find themselves, he probably saved many men from lives of misery and despair with just a few simple words.

John was someone whose friendship and humanity should be aspired to by everyone. His loss is a tragedy for his family, friends, the community and all who knew him. Love and condolences to John’s family, we are all thinking of you.

I’m sure many people have memories of John, if you send them to me I’ll add them to this post.

UPDATE – 08/01/21
John’s funeral was on 7th January, at 12:00 noon at the west chapel, Overdale Cemetery. Only a limited number of people was allowed to attend, 10 family and 9 from the volunteer groups John was part of.

The family has asked for donations to be made to the British Lung Foundation in John’s memory, if that is something you would like to do. If you would like to send a card to John’s wife Evelyn and his family then the Wildlife Trusts’ Steven Cartwright can take these up to them on your behalf. Please send them to ‘Evelyn Franklin, c/o Stephen Cartwright, 499-511 Bury Road, Bolton, BL2 6DH’. Please can I ask that these arrive no later than 18th January to avoid unnecessary disturbance to the family.

The Friends of Seven Acres are planning on holding a tree planting session on site in memory of John at some point in the future so if you feel that is a more appropriate way to pay your respects then please await news of that.

Comments are also being posted in the comments box beneath the photo gallery, many thanks to everyone who has contributed. Comments that are left won’t appear immediately but will appear after approval.

5 thoughts on “John Franklin

  1. Such lovely words about John in these comments. I only had the chance to volunteer alongside him a handful of times, but it was enough for me to know that all of them are true. He was a lovely and generous soul and I know he’ll be sorely missed by his friends and fellow volunteers. Sending my thoughts out to his family at this sad time.

  2. A massive thank you for the lovely words below and sharing your memories of Dad. He will be sorely missed by everyone and leaves a big hole now that he’s gone, however he made a big impact when he was here. Thank you so much to those volunteers that stood in the snow this week, paying their respects, whilst he went on his final journey, past his beloved Seven Acres. Time to take a rest Dad x

  3. John always found time to listen; encourage and help.
    He would travel to Oxford just to see his AUNTIE and helped her to overcome her loss.
    He will be missed by lots of people,
    Goodbye John.

  4. John Franklin – The Ideal Conserver

    I met John first a few years ago on a task with Bolton Conservation Volunteers. He struck me very quickly as a very useful addition to our group.

    His bearing was that of a regimental sergeant-major, upright, broad shouldered, dignified, rather stern looking, but his attitude was anything but that. He didn’t boss anyone around. It wasn’t in his nature. He listened well and wasn’t afraid of asking for explanations and advice as he went along – the true hallmark of an educated person. By that I don’t mean someone awash with qualifications, but someone who knows where to find information, who takes it in, makes sense of it and uses it. He was a paragon of competence and a dedicated worker.

    John was a true master of listening skills. He also oozed with common sense. He was a sounding post, whether on conservation matters or personal. Both the BCV and Lancashire Wildlife Trust Wednesday Wildlife Volunteers are like families. Strangers who join soon become part of a network of valuable friends, as well as fellow workers in the cause of protecting and enhancing biodiversity. In being supportive, John excelled. When you got to know him, you soon realised that he was a man whom you could trust. Volunteers came to him when they were experiencing difficulties in their everyday lives: John was a friendly, confidential ear, giving his opinion only when it was asked for. Having said that, if he saw the need to have a gentle word with newcomers who were using tools awkwardly or dangerously, he would do, but at just the right time, with the right approach. I don’t know anyone who ever took exception to that. John never gossiped, nor did he have a bad word to say about anyone.

    He always seemed pleased to see other volunteers. He would talk to them about anything and everything, because they were his friends, and they mattered to him. I don’t remember a single task I have been on where John didn’t come over and say hello while he was working. It would have been hard not to like him. His age was immaterial, he was just John – always good humoured, whether on task, at meetings, at parties, meals or other social events; he would be smiling, so happy to be with friends.

    You cannot replace the irreplaceable. I have never met anyone else like him, and I don’t suppose I ever will. He was an inspiration.

  5. John was a very kind and generous guy when I was first trying my hand at hedge laying he gave me a book on the subject which was a great help and I still refer to regularly and I will now treasure. He will be greatly missed by all at BCV and Lancs Wildlife Trust where his work with Men in Sheds, The Hive and the Wednesday Volunteer Group was an inspiration to us all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *