Family historian from St Albans to step down after a decade mapping family lineages

John Brown is stepping down after ten years as a tutor and helper for Computer Friendly in St Albans

John Brown is stepping down after ten years as a tutor and helper for Computer Friendly in St Albans - Credit: Photo courtesy of Computer Friendly

A St Albans man who has discovered about 2,500 relatives across the globe, going back as far as 1640, is retiring from a computer group after 10 years as a volunteer tutor and helper.

John Brown is stepping down from his role at Computer Friendly, a group offering informal and ‘friendly’ lessons, where he prepared a course on family history which helps others to also track down relatives.

He always gets a ‘kick’ upon hearing a student looking for an ancestor shouting out the word: ‘found’.

John, who moved to St Albans in 1968, founded Abbey Marquetry, working from a factory in Hatfield for nearly a decade. He still tutors a marquetry class every Wednesday in Southdown, Harpenden.

Outgoing chairman of Computer Friendly, Melvyn Teare, said that rather than give John a clock or certificate, “we have decided to give him tools and other equipment for the other charity he works with, Tools for Self Reliance”.


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The charity collects tools in the St Albans area which are no longer required by their owners.

Donated tools are sent to a workshop in Northampton where they are refurbished, made into kits and sent to seven countries in Africa. Any not suitable are sold to raise money to cover the transport costs of £1 million a year.

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Tools of use to the charity include those used in carpentry, for shoe repairs, car mechanics, electrical repairs, plumbing, blacksmiths, garden and even electric sewing machines.

If you have tools to donate to help people in Africa, please phone John on 01727 857070.

See www.tfsr.org or www.computerfriendlystalbans.org.uk for more details.

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