John 'Futch' Futcher

User avatar
Renegadenemo
Posts: 4905
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:29 pm
Location: N E England
Contact:

John 'Futch' Futcher

Post by Renegadenemo » Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:33 am

I had a call earlier from my mate Futch this morning. He's not been well of late and has spent some time in hospital but he was home again and called for a natter. He was asking about the big tin machine and saying how hot it is in his corner of Australia. His memoirs are now being edited into a book by his son, Michael. With the working title 'Futch' it's soon to be available to anyone who wants to read the tales of this remarkable chap.
I'm only a plumber from Cannock...

"As to reward, my profession is its own reward;" Sherlock Holmes.

'Sometimes you gotta be an S.O.B if you wanna make a dream reality' Mark Knopfler

User avatar
Renegadenemo
Posts: 4905
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:29 pm
Location: N E England
Contact:

Re: John 'Futch' Futcher

Post by Renegadenemo » Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:18 am

Book launch 1st July then we'll have a few copies available via the BBP shop with proceeds to John's chosen charities.
_112611-20160611-205344851.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
I'm only a plumber from Cannock...

"As to reward, my profession is its own reward;" Sherlock Holmes.

'Sometimes you gotta be an S.O.B if you wanna make a dream reality' Mark Knopfler

User avatar
Renegadenemo
Posts: 4905
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:29 pm
Location: N E England
Contact:

Re: John 'Futch' Futcher

Post by Renegadenemo » Mon Jul 04, 2016 1:18 am

It was Futch's book launch last Friday so what could I do? There's an Emirates 777 out of Newcastle for Dubai every day and from there it's only a short hop to Brisbane so I chucked a spare pair of undies in a bag and went for the day.
Futch and Me.jpg
There was much speechifying and toasts but it didn't take long to dispense with all that posh Champagne nonsense and get onto some proper Aussie beer. I was soon to learn that there's only either 'golds' (ie, Castlemaine XXXX or Fosters) or 'heavy'. which seems to cover every other Aussie beer. Futch got stuck into a heavy.
Futch Beer.jpg
There was cake too - made especially for the occasion.
Futch Cake.jpg
But by far the best part was being part of the whole loving family thing.
Futch Family.jpg
It was really nice to be adopted for a day or two.

The book really is an excellent read too with lots of pic's.
Futch's younger son, Michael, is a top man in Oz TV, theatre and telly so he put it all together and everyone worked hard to make sure the launch was an amazing day.

Really enjoyed my little excursion.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
I'm only a plumber from Cannock...

"As to reward, my profession is its own reward;" Sherlock Holmes.

'Sometimes you gotta be an S.O.B if you wanna make a dream reality' Mark Knopfler

User avatar
Renegadenemo
Posts: 4905
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:29 pm
Location: N E England
Contact:

Re: John 'Futch' Futcher

Post by Renegadenemo » Sun Aug 28, 2016 11:29 am

Futch finally ended his long battle last night and slipped away peacefully.
I'm only a plumber from Cannock...

"As to reward, my profession is its own reward;" Sherlock Holmes.

'Sometimes you gotta be an S.O.B if you wanna make a dream reality' Mark Knopfler

Terminator
Posts: 701
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:19 pm

Re: John 'Futch' Futcher

Post by Terminator » Sun Aug 28, 2016 10:57 pm

Sorry to hear that Bill! At least he managed to complete his book so people can read his many exploits and they are not lost for all time. I will let paul know so the S.R.C can pay tribute in the next issue of Fast facts. He was part of the story even if it was at the end.
Cheers
Novie
"Never ride faster than your Angel can fly"

Terminator
Posts: 701
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:19 pm

Re: John 'Futch' Futcher

Post by Terminator » Sun Aug 28, 2016 10:59 pm

I take it he passed away on the evening of the 27th August 2016 then ? Do you have his age Bill D.O.B and any other details we might pass on? Text me
Cheers
Novie
"Never ride faster than your Angel can fly"

User avatar
Mike Bull
Posts: 4688
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:57 pm

Re: John 'Futch' Futcher

Post by Mike Bull » Mon Aug 29, 2016 8:45 am

Aw, nuts. Inevitable but sad to hear nonetheless. Bill's correspondence with Futch turning into a steady stream of memoirs and the resulting book and celebration are as much an achievement of this project as anything physical done with the boat itself, and should stand as a reminder to those that can't see past just the machine, that there is always a greater story going on here. Futch has put into port for the last time, but he'll not be forgotten.

User avatar
Renegadenemo
Posts: 4905
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:29 pm
Location: N E England
Contact:

Re: John 'Futch' Futcher

Post by Renegadenemo » Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:50 am

The foreword from the book... Says it all.



On the 8th of March 2001 I achieved some notoriety by coming ashore at Coniston Water in the English Lake District on the flank of Bluebird K7 – the jet boat in which speed hero Donald Campbell so tragically and publicly lost his life in 1967. It was a notoriety born of the perception that these Johnny-come-lately divers had defiled the grave of a lost icon, later tempered by his respectful deliverance from the mud and a hero’s burial.
As a real-life explorer I’ve travelled from the North Pole to the tropics and even to Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen but back then I was quite content leading a small team in search of the wreck of a speedboat that settled through forty metres of cold, dark water in the year I was born.
But it wasn’t real exploring – not this time – because we were merely following in the footsteps of a Royal Navy dive team sent to look for Mr Campbell’s body thirty-four years earlier. Though they found his boat straight away, Mr. Campbell was to defy their best efforts.
The cast and characters of the Bluebird story were well known to me and their stories told and re-told but it was the wrecked craft that really caught my imagination. That and the role of a fellow diver, Lieutenant Commander John Futcher, who’d led the navy team in January 1967 then seemingly vanished without trace. No one could tell me where he had gone or what he did before or since; but divers are a close-knit bunch and through the old divers network John Futcher was eventually run to ground in Australia.
We first spoke by phone – divers don’t like unfinished business and I wanted to tell him how we had continued his work and finally located Donald Campbell thirty-four years after the accident and given him the burial he deserved – and having lived and breathed the story for so long it was enthralling to hear first-hand details of a little known chapter, and then I had an idea.
As a small boy I had an ‘uncle’, because that’s what kids called grownup friends of their parents back then, who’d survived every Arctic convoy yet would never talk of his wartime experiences. Many years later his daughter asked me to try and tease out his stories before they departed this earth with him. And so there followed many a happy hour spent scribbling notes to preserve for all time how he was torpedoed and rescued, how he almost died several times at he hands of the enemy and yet lived into his nineties.
I wondered, somewhat cautiously, whether John Futcher would tell me his tales too – relive his amazing life for a total stranger who’d called out of the blue to ask about a freezing lake so many miles and a lifetime away from his new home.
And so began a journey of exploration as real as swimming through shipwrecks or searching the ocean. John began to write, broadly at first then more specifically. Like opening a shaded attic and peering into boxes of goodies closed and put away for so many years, the stories spilled forth as John’s confidence in setting them down grew and in so doing revealing a man of military bearing but a devoted family man too, a no-nonsense character but with a sprinkling of mischief and a grand sense of humour. John allowed this stranger into every corner, opening box after box of sweetly recounted tales pitched a short but wistful distance from the harshness that had obviously accompanied many of them.
Being half a world apart meant the emails would be waiting for me in the morning entitled ‘Mem’ for memoir, then a number. A number that gradually climbed towards seventy as the word count crowded six figures. Sometimes stopping and going back and at others soldiering forward with the next adventure. I’d make a coffee then sit down to read before sending a short reply with a question or comment and thanks for the latest installment. On one occasion John recounted a fellow soldier calling him.

“Futch, Futch,” he shouted.

I asked whether I might be allowed to call him Futch too.

‘Sure you can call me Futch if you want to.” He replied. “You can call me anything you like as long you don't call me early to the great Archangel Cocktail Party in the sky?!?’
And that’s not a reception I’m in a hurry to attend either because when I get there I don’t expect to stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Futch. Men like him were of their time like the battleships and bombers they served in. Solid, dependable, dignified and, above all, brave in a way that will likely never be seen again, yet the strangest twist of fate threw us together and somehow it became my great honour to be trusted with the boxes from the attic that now comprise the pages of this book, a humbling experience but one which I have enjoyed immensely.
Thank you, Futch.

Bill Smith.
Bluebird Project Leader.
Newcastle, England.
I'm only a plumber from Cannock...

"As to reward, my profession is its own reward;" Sherlock Holmes.

'Sometimes you gotta be an S.O.B if you wanna make a dream reality' Mark Knopfler

Terminator
Posts: 701
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:19 pm

Re: John 'Futch' Futcher

Post by Terminator » Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:46 pm

Very moving Bill and well done you for taking the time and trouble on securing a brave man's many memories. Can't wait to read his exploits for sure.
Novie
"Never ride faster than your Angel can fly"

lsrdatabase
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Apr 25, 2015 5:47 pm
Location: Heathfield, East Sussex THNJ21 8BT
Contact:

Re: John 'Futch' Futcher

Post by lsrdatabase » Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:04 pm

Hi Chaps,
Please could you tell me how to obtain a copy?
Fred

Post Reply