A MOURNING daughter has paid tribute to her father, who worked in the company that printed the Swindon Advertiser for 20 years.

John Skane passed away in Great Western Hospital on February 8 at the age of 84.

He worked for Swindon Press, a printing firm owned for many years by the Advertiser’s parent company, from 1949 to 1969.

The first job he had at the company was as an apprentice book-binder for six years, then he did print finishing with the guillotine and folding machine.

A few years later, he was promoted to deputy foreman.

Jo Ferris, his only daughter, reminisced about her father.

She said: “My dad was a gentleman, he was very generous, he lived in the moment and didn’t really think about tomorrow.

“He loved attention and would be beaming if, wherever he is, he knew he was acknowledged by his beloved paper that he had spent twenty years working for.

“When he got job offers elsewhere, like for a position as manager at a finishing department in Bath, he always turned them down because he loved working in Swindon so much.

“After he left the Adver, he still met up regularly with 12 people he used to work with, he called them the ‘Old Gals’.

“He was a bit eccentric, a bit theatrical, and always interested and excited about everything he did.”

The youngest of five children, John went to Lethbridge Primary School and Sanford Street School when he was a youngster, and used to live in Stratton St Margaret.

He had a passion for chess and was the captain of the Sanford Street School chess team.

As well as working at Swindon Press, he also went into the national service, managed a newsagent in Royal Wootton Bassett and joined SALOS.

In 2009, John shared some of his fondest childhood memories with the Adver.

He said: “I remember playing on the Humpty Dumps, which was what the land was called before the Princess Margaret Hospital was built.

“Walking the long way round Coate Water and getting in via the fields to avoid paying the entrance fee was fun, I believe it was about four pence in old money.

“I was born and lived my childhood in Prospect Hill.

“When it snowed in the winter we – the Prospect gang – would find anything that would carry us down the hill.

“I also recall dancing in the ‘Rec Centre’ in Faringdon Road, the old Majestic Hall and the Locarno Ballroom.”

His funeral will be at 10am on Friday March 16 at the Crematorium in Kingsdown. Donations can be made to the Wiltshire Air Ambulance and the Born Free Foundation in his memory.