Family hope to trace ‘JC’ kids after his death

The family of a Sidmouth man who was the ‘life and soul’ of the town want to trace his children after his death.

John Cole, 58, affectionately known as ‘JC’ in Sidmouth, died last Saturday after being rushed to hospital following a second heart attack in two weeks.

He was very well-known in the town having worked for more than a decade in the kitchens at the Victoria Hotel, and had an active social life in Sidmouth’s pubs.

He played darts, was a regular in the Black Horse and Marine, and was on the committee at the War Memorial Social Club.

He was also a lifelong angler, was heavily involved in the Sea Angling Group, and in 1980 hit national headlines after catching a record turbot, more than 20 pounds, with his older brother Charlie near Sidmouth.

Charlie said of him: “I will remember him as being mad keen on fishing, and on being the life and soul of the party.”

He also mentioned his brother’s triumph, becoming ‘British Snuff Champion’ in 1989.

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Born in the Isle of Wight, he grew up in the Cornish village of Calstock before moving with his family to Sidmouth when his father got a job as a chef here.

John then attended The King’s School in Ottery St Mary, before becoming a builder with Chris Woodley in Newton Poppleford.

But he spent the last 15 years or so at the Victoria, where he lived and worked, dividing his time between fishing, socialising and his other great passion, walking, and he often went across Dartmoor and on the Undercliff at Beer, a pastime he picked up from his father.

John Cole is known to have at least three children, all of whom he was estranged from, and his family hope they can trace them following his untimely death. One daughter is thought to be in her early 40’s, and may live in Australia, and another is thought to be around 25, possibly living down in Plymouth.

If anybody has any information they are asked to contact Anna Cole on 01297 23522.