It is with sadness to report the passing of


John Edward Plaister


Born 15 February 1931 and died 25 April 2015 in Great Western Hospital, Swindon aged 84.

W. Bro. John initiated into Pleydell Lodge No. 4687 in 1966 and became Worshipful Master in 1981. He held many Offices in the Lodge including Treasurer for 18 years. He was appointed to Provincial Grand Rank in 1986 to PPrSGD and finally in 2002 to PPrGJW.


John was advanced into St. Aldhelm Lodge No. 1531 on 6th June 1989 and became Worshipful Master 1997. He was Secretary of the Lodge 13years. He was appointed PrGJD in 199 and subsequently after other promotions to PPrGSW in 2011.

He was elevated into the Lansdowne Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners No 1035 in 2000 and became Commander in 2005. Appointed to Provincial Royal Ark Mariner Grand Rank in 2012.

In his working career, he took over the Plaisters Dairy business from his father, which he later sold to Unigate Diaries and from then on was involved in various businesses including plant hire and Funeral direction. He became well known as what we would call a financial trouble shooter to these.    


As a clockmaker, he was the Diocese Clocks Adviser for Bath and Wells, Salisbury and Winchester for many years until quite recently, doing many great things in preserving valuable pieces of our national heritage, as well as establishing the standards of preservation of turret clocks, as they are known today 

He was recognised and respected as one of the leading lights in turret clock horology in the world and was the custodian of one of the world’s oldest working clock - the 1386 clock at Salisbury Cathedral, an honour only entrusted to the most capable of individuals.

He was appointed a Liveryman of the City of London and was a Past Steward in the Worshipful Company of Clockmaker's. He also spent a number of years as the chairman of the British Horological Institute, having a great influence on its future - his legacy will be remembered for years to come.


The house where John spent his entire life was a veritable museum of rare, important and unusual clocks, all carefully restored and meticulously maintained, and he had the foresight to see that redundant clocks being scrapped were indeed important pieces of technology of their time. He also made efforts to note who and where these items should passed to in the interests of preservation and legacy of their heritage.

In steam, he was a founder member of the Fairford Steam Club and served as Chairman for many years, he was never at these rallies without his Marshall agricultural traction engine which he, along with his lifelong friend the late W. Bro Alfie Neate, both lovingly restored.

He will be missed by many for his quite efficient manner and his meticulous work. 


His funeral will take place on Monday 11th May at Christ Church, Swindon at 2-00pm, followed by a reception at The Runner,(formally The Running Horse) Wootton Bassett Road, Swindon where John’s Marshall Steam Tractor will be present.



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