My name is John Fletcher and I live in Leicester in the centre of England, UK. My main interests are music and sailing.
My mother told me that, at the age of four, I was given one of those small toy grand pianos. I was soon crying my eyes out because I wanted a note that was between two of the keys, which were all white – the black keys were only painted on! Thus started my appreciation (or not) of music.
I have progressed musically since then. I managed to attain Grade 6 on the piano and Grade 5 on the organ. I joined all the choirs I could. I just seem to be full of music, yet neither of my parents could play an instrument or read music.
I explain all this to show that, in preparing the rehearsal files on this website, I have a wide association with different kinds of music groups covering all ranges of ability and styles.
I first started preparing music on an Archimedes computer using Philip’s Music Score software. I was an early user of Sibelius, a music software for producing good-looking music scores, and am now on Sibelius Ultimate running on a 24″ iMac with twin screens. I bizarrely find it very satisfying producing scores and sound-files using this amazing software.
I intend to keep people up-to-date by using the “News from JohnF” pages.
Anyone who wishes to make suggestions for adding to the site can Contact Me. I welcome this as I want to make the site as comprehensive as possible.
I was introduced to sailing at quite a late age (31) by my father-in-law. He phoned me one Thursday night to ask if I were available the following day to sail for the weekend. I turned up to find a two-masted sailing yacht nearly 50′ long. I had less than two hours to find out where everything was, and how to sail her, before ten other people arrived expecting me to answer all their queries.
The organisation was called the London Sailing Project (or The Rona Trust), started in 1960 and still going strong today. Watch their 5 minute promotional video here:
or read all about the fantastic work they do at their website:
Since that first time I have managed to gain the experience and the qualifications to become one of their senior Skippers and am on their Assessment Panel. All the qualified people on board are volunteers: there are six or seven other helpers, with a crew of twelve consisting of either: young people from all sorts of backgrounds; groups of deaf people; groups of visually impaired people; groups of people with learning difficulties; or a bunch of publicans or policemen who are on a team leadership course.
Time has flown, and as I am now over 75 I have reluctantly retired from skippering with the sailing project. Luckily I still sail with friends, usually off the west coast of Scotland.