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A LOYAL granddad who continued a family tradition of putting ‘Windows’ on the Thames is celebrating 50 years’
work on the river.

John Window, 66, joined the Port of London Authority (PLA) as a messenger boy in Christmas 1964, then moved through the ranks to his current role as
a haven master on Canvey Island. His two sons Gary, 34, and Trevor, 37, followed in their father’s wake and joined the PLA where they work as VTS officer and marine river inspector respectively.

Leigh-on-Sea resident John, who’s had several different positions within the Authority, including coxswain and deckhand, thinks he’s simply been lucky to do a job that lets him do what he loves.

He said: “For as long as I remember
I’ve wanted to work on the Thames, just like my dad. I became a PLA messenger boy when I was 15 and three quarters.
I’d cart post to various places up and down the river. All the time I just wished
I could get out onto the boats. A job came up and I went for it.”

John’s best memories of working on the Thames include being a deckhand on
the harbour service launch that led the

Tall Ships procession in the 1980s and helping the huge effort that went into making the rain-soaked Queen’s Diamond Jubilee boat pageant such a success in 2012.

“Everyone in the PLA got wet that day”, he said. “I’ll never forget it for as long as I live. On days like that the river just comes alive.”

He added: “I’ve never been bored in 50 years of working for the PLA. And if I’ve got itchy feet I’ve just moved on to a different challenge and freshened things up.”

John, who also has three grandchildren, says his sons couldn’t be dissuaded from following in his footsteps, especially after he’d taken them to various events on the river down the years, such as the Southend Air Show.

“It’s a bit of a tradition really”, he admits. “My great great grandfather started it many years ago when he worked on the Thames piloting colliers. It’s fair to say there’ve been Windows on the Thames ever since.”
PLA chief executive Robin Mortimer said: “We are proud that John has been with us for 50 years. He has set a fine example, both in terms of service and doing a great job.”


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