Article from press.(re John Grantham)




He trained as a pilot with Prince Charles, served in Vietnam and flew Saudi Arabia's royal family.

But in the North-east, Johnny Grantham was better known for his inventions including the award-winning Mindless Trolley.

Today his family paid tribute to Mr Grantham who lost his battle against cancer.

They described him as "a pure gentleman who was always jolly, positive and had an eccentric zest for life."

Mr Grantham - known as Johnny G - died on Friday surrounded by his family at his home in the Kemnay area. He was 62.

His wife, Susan, said: "He died 20 years too young but he certainly packed a lot into his life.

"Since he died, we have had tears but we have also laughed a lot reminiscing about the many stories and things he did.

"Like the time we lived in Oman and I got him a jet ski. Johnny made us all get dressed up to go on it. I wore a long flowing dress and he wore a white dinner jacket with black bow tie."

Mr Grantham's daughter, Sacha, also had fond memories of her dad.

"I remember the time dad came running into the house and told me to quickly get dressed up.

"When I asked why, he said he was taking me to lunch at Thainstone and the helicopter was on its way!"

Dad-of-two Mr Grantham joined the Royal Navy in 1957 training alongside Prince Charles.

Sacha said: "He told my husband Andrew he was invited to Buckingham Palace for tea but he didn't go because he and a friend had met a couple of nurses."

Mr Grantham went on to become a worldwide commando specialist which saw him serve in Vietnam before leaving the armed forces in 1975 to work in the oil industry.

In 1980, he became a pilot in the Sultan of Oman's armed forces and, since 1995, he spent every summer flying Saudi Arabia's Royal family to their yacht.

But throughout his life, Mr Grantham busied himself in his workshop coming up with inventions.

As well as his Mindless Trolley - an easy-steer trolley that earned him the Scottish inventor of the Year title in 1990 - he devoted time to helping others.

He invented a hand control for a sewing machine for Aberdeen woman Karen Gauld who is paralysed from the waist down.

Sacha, who lives in Sussex, said: "My dad was always doing things for others."

Most recently, Mr Grantham put his skills to creating toys after he and two bulls he owned inspired a new cartoon series, Clootie And Dumpling, written by former Grampian TV presenter Margaret Donald.

Margaret said: "To say we will miss him is hardly adequate. For a time the sunshine has gone from our project but we are dedicated to making a success of it in his honour.

"He will live on in Clootie and Dumpling in so many ways.

"We plan that the main characters will use his personal catch phrase 'I knew this would happen', and, in every episode, his words 'Toodle-pip' will replace 'The End'."

Mr Grantham also leaves his son, Andrew, twin sister Joan, and sisters, Myra and Dominee, and four grandchildren.