An Introduction from the New County Vice Chair
.John says, “It is a great privilege to have been elected by the CCEX Vice-Chairman of the Wiltshire County Executive, and I shall do my very best to support the Chairman and the rest of the Committee as I take over from Mike Challinor, who has been a most excellent Vice-Chairman and to whom I have expressed my very best wishes for his new life in Shropshire. It is my intention to assist branches as much as possible, especially in the areas of recruitment, training and member retention, and I would be happy to hear members’ ideas and suggestions for improvement in these important areas – or any other relevant matters. Please do not hesitate to email me with your thoughts.”
Squadron Leader John Mann MBE BSc RAF(ret’d)
John Mann (66) was born and brought up in Kent, progressing from school in Canterbury to attaining an honours degree in Applied Physics at University College London (UCL). Interested from an early age in flying, John joined the University of London Air Squadron as a member of the RAF Volunteer Reserve, flying Chipmunks and Bulldogs; he was later awarded an RAF University Cadetship and went directly from university to the Royal Air Force College, Cranwell for Officer Training, followed by Pilot Training on the Jet Provost, Gnat, Hunter, and Canberra. John’s operational tours were on the Vulcan bomber, first as a co-pilot on IX(B) Squadron at RAF Waddington, then as a captain on 27 Sqn, RAF Scampton. The Vulcan’s end-of-life in 1982 led to John’s re-training as a Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI), in which role he served on East Midlands Universities Air Squadron and on loan as an advisor to the Royal Jordanian Air Force. Returning from Jordan in 1987, John spent a tour training flying instructors at the RAF’s Central Flying School before being appointed Officer Commanding the University of Birmingham Air Squadron at RAF Cosford, after which he was honoured by being awarded an MBE. John’s final tour before his retirement from the RAF in 1992 was at the Ministry of Defence in London, with responsibility for primary and basic flying training.
On leaving the RAF, John and his wife, Christine, entered the world of business, initially running their own Design and Marketing company which led to various other roles in property development and management. Success in the fields of marketing and IT led to John becoming a director of a small distribution firm, followed by ten years as managing director of a large manufacturing and distribution company. Approaching retirement, John and Christine founded their own company in the field of GPS and Satellite Navigation, producing a much-needed digital map of Barbados.
Retiring from full-time work in 2014, John and Christine moved to Potterne, Wiltshire, where John joined the Royal British Legion and started to take a full and active role in community life. In 2018, John was honoured to be elected President of the Potterne branch of the RBL, in which he takes a most active role, and was also accepted as a member of the RBL’s Wiltshire Executive Committee. John also plays a most active role in the organization of the Potterne church fete, and last year took a major part in local events in remembrance of the Armistice Centenary.