FORMER engineer, shopkeeper and a regular Echoes of the Past contributor, John Stimson, has died at the age of 92.

Born in Peterborough and educated at Stamford School, John was the son of a well known publican and hotelier. He spent a brief spell in the Royal Engineers at the end of the Second World War after having previously been part of the Home Guard.

In 1947 he moved to Bournemouth and married Elizabeth Maureen Leach at the All Souls Church in Peterborough the following year. The couple moved into and ran the general store 'The Handy Shop' on the corner of Brassey Road and Benmore Road in Winton, for four years until 1952.

"John worked for three years in the Borough Engineers Department in Bournemouth before joining the Southern Electricity Board in 1952 where he worked in the Civil Engineering Department for 30 years where his work took him from Southampton to Yeovil," said his son Mark Stimson.

The family moved to 'Hillside Lodge' in Richmond Park Avenue, Charminster, shortly after the birth of Mark in 1959. John's wife Elizabeth, better known as Lizzie, ran the property as a guest house all year round, taking in foreign language students from Kings School in Bournemouth in the winter and in the summer months it was used by English tourists as a popular seaside retreat. John kept in touch with many of the previous guests, receiving correspondence and presents from around the world.

Lizzie was also a wardrobe mistress for the Bournemouth and Boscombe Opera Company, as well as singing in the chorus. Sadly she passed away seven years ago.

"In later years, John took delight in his grandchildren, Sam and Libby, who called him 'grampy' and recently his great grandsons, Alby and Rudi. He also developed a keen interest in his postcards of all things from the Bournemouth area and accumulated a well catalogued collection of over 3000," said Mark.

A lot of his postcards appeared on the Echoes of the Past nostalgia pages of the Echo over recent years and proved very popular with readers, some even meeting up with John to compare and share historical notes on his pictures.

To celebrate his 90th birthday in 2014 John went on the Bournemouth Zip Wire on the end of Bournemouth Pier. He is the oldest person known to participate in this event in Bournemouth.

Even to the end when he was quite poorly, John found humour in his situation, and when asked how tall he was at the hospital told them he was 10ft 6in.

He was a true gentleman who will be sorely missed.

John died at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital in the care of his only son Mark and daughter-in-law Aly on June 28.

His funeral will be held at Bournemouth Crematorium at 3pm on July 21.