Obituary: John Jackson

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John Jackson, left, and restoration colleague Tony Melia. NICK LARKIN

After almost 60 years of involvement with Crossley vehicles, including one said to be among the most ambitious restorations ever carried out by private enthusiasts, preservationist John Jackson has passed away aged 78.

John originally restored a rare army lorry before being half of the two man team taking on 1947 Sunderland Corporation all-Crossley DD42/3, registration GR 9007. The vehicle was deemed by just about everyone to be past all hope of restoration, the all-metal body being in an advanced state of decay, but John and restoration colleague Tony Melia, a former Crossley test engineer, preserved, working on the vehicle practically full-time.

If that wasn’t enough, John and Tony took on a massive Crossley project, 1946 Roe-bodied Northampton Corporation DD42/3 VV 9146. The chassis of sister vehicle VV9141 provided spares for both restorations.

John, who never married, had lived on a farm at Wormingfold, Essex since he was two, eventually carrying out mechanical work and many other duties. He was also caretaker at a local school for many years. He sufferered from Parkinson’s disease in his latter years, and died on 7 March.

Restoration colleague Tony said: “John was an extremely dedicated preservationist and he will be missed.”