COWES man John Minns, who made significant contributions in the worlds of yachting and stamp collecting, has died at the age of 88.

Mr Minns was born in Cowes in 1931 and remained interested in the town throughout his life.

Working in the financial department at British Hovercraft Corporation then Westland Aerospace, he played cricket for East Cowes in his younger days and retired, not out, at 60 after 37 years' employment.

Outside work, Mr Minns had two great interests, yachting and stamp collecting, and in both areas he made significant contributions.

A member of the Island Sailing Club for more than 50 years, his numerical competence and background knowledge made him a valued member of the race and handicapping committees and at one time he was president of the Cowes Town Regatta.

A fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society London, he was a founding member of the East African Study Circle and from the Year 2000 he was honorary life president.

He won national gold medals in 1974 and 1975, followed by international golds from Amsterdam and Vienna.

IW postal history was another interest and over the years he amassed a collection of first-rate importance.

Both his father and grandfather were Cowes correspondents for the County Press and an issue of 1942 has an account of a journey to Newport made by a mother and 11-year-old son after their house in Newport Road was bombed.

Along the way they had to dive to the ground as further bombs exploded, spend time in an air raid shelter, receive the offer of a lift, collide with a cow, run out of petrol and become enmeshed in fallen telephone wires.

In a fine piece of understatement, the piece was written by Harold Minns and refers to his wife and son John.

Mr Minns is survived by his wife Constance (Connie), sister Daphne, nephews, nieces and cousins.

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