Hackney architect and vintage vehicle enthusiast John Turner dies, aged 74

A key figure in the Hackney’s conservation, heritage and regeneration has passed away, aged 74.

Architect John Edgar Turner, who had lived in Culford Road with his wife Christine since 1975, had been the representative for conservation group, the Hackney Society on the council’s planning committee and Chair of the Kingsland Conservation Area Advisory Committee in the 90s and early 2000s.

He had a passion for vintage vehicles and drove a 1926 Lancia Lambda - which became a familiar sight and sound for local residents - and brought a restored Routemaster bus with his friends.

“They have since sold it but many fun times were had aboard,” said his daughter Dinah.

“Dad was interested in everything and everyone, he was a fountain of knowledge,” she added.

A father to three daughters, John was heavily involved in the De Beauvoir community, and would get his hands stuck into everything from installing Swallow boxes at the top of St Peters Church to campaigning for trees to be planted on Kingsland Road.

A keen photographer and moth fanatic, he had also worked with wardens at Hackney Marshes photographing rare moths.

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Having played in jazz bands around Wigan and Manchester in his youth, he had picked up the trombone again recently joining friends for impromptu sessions upstairs at The Wenlock pub in Wenlock Road.

Chair of the Hackney Society conservation group, Kevin Moore, said he will be missed: “John was a great character and had been involved in the conservation, heritage and regeneration of Hackney for many years in many guises,” he said.

“John was able to discuss and argue eloquently for the retention or demolition of a building at the borough’s planning committee. He could equally tell an amusing anecdote at the local pub afterwards.”