"Possibly the best English eccentric inventor living today...."
(Time-Life Books)



by Kate Chapman

BIRDS are flocking to the garden of a Gedney inventor whose latest creation is a giant novelty feeder for our feathered friends.

The six feet high sculpted feeder, in the shape of a giant bird wearing a top hat, has been made by John Ward.

John's other wacky inventions include a musical frying pan, a bra warmer and backpack snow machine.

John said: "We do get a couple of dozen birds in the garden here on most days from robins to blackbirds and oddly they seem to have taken to it!"

Since Christmas John has been taking time off from his madcap inventions to film a series of television appearances, including Richard and Judy's Sky show and for RTE in Dublin.

In June he will be visited by Canadian film crews from the Discovery Channel.

John is appealing for an unwanted Reliant Robin or Rialto three-wheeler car for a forthcoming project and would like to hear from anyone who has one rusting away which they no longer want.

He says tax and MoT are not important.

(Lincolnshire Free Press, 28th April 2009)



The latest ingenious invention by Gedney's John Ward gives a whole new meaning to wetting the baby's head.
John (54) built a mobile font at the request of a Derby vicar and it was "christened" at the weekend when it was used at a Christening service in a pub.

John built the bespoke font out of imitation stone and designed it to fold up to go into the boot of a car.

John attended the service in Boothey's Club, Mansfield, where Mr Draycott christened three babies in the first pub service of its kind watched by around 80 people.

The pair met earlier this year when Mr Draycott blessed a pie-shaped dog kennel which John had built.

Mr Draycott, of the Anglican Independent Community UK, often gets requests to carry out services at different venues but said holding christening in a pub was a first.

John was delighted with his latest invention and said it had worked better than he expected.

John, who is to appear on Sky Television's Nickelodeon children's programme, has other inventions to his name, including a one-legged milking stool, a numb bum reviver and musical frying pan.

(Spalding Guardian, 27th November 2008)



by Kate Chapman

A wacky inventor has just the answer for women struggling to come to terms with this week's cold snap – a bra warmer.
The uplifting device comprises two ballcocks and an adapted hairdryer – but it's not perhaps the most barking creation to spring from the fertile brain of 54-year-old John Ward.

The Gedney genius has just built a miniature pub for a dog, complete with its own cosy living room and tiny bar.

Mr Ward, who built the pie-shaped paradise for his friend's pug Mozart, is also responsible for all manner of weird and wonderful creations which have given him worldwide recognition.

He first shot to fame with the Hutch Home which he built for his mum's rabbit and featured a carrot-shaped car.

John has also invented the Back Pack Snow Machine – which spews out polystyrene snowstorms as you go – and the motorised hospital bed for people suffering because of the bed shortage.

He was a regular guest on Chris Tarrant's Prove It show and was appointed Minister of Inventions for the Monster Raving Loony Party.

His latest creation came about after he decided his landlord friend Mike Pichel-Juan's pug Mozart needed a kennel.

Mike runs the PJ Pie Pub in Boston with girlfriend Helen Baxter and John's idea snowballed and resulted in him building PJ's Pie Pup.

The 4ft by 3ft haven has a pie-crust roof, its own cosy living room with wood-panelling, a stone-effect fireplace and a heart-shaped rug, with curtains hanging on bone-shaped glazed windows.

John said: "The pub specialises in pies so I thought there was nothing better than a pie-shaped one with stone brickwork.

John, who previously worked for Barclaycard, does after dinner speaking and is working on another dog home.

He added: "I'm growing old disgracefully. Inventing has always been a hobby. It keeps me off the streets and I really enjoy it."

(Spalding Guardian, 30th October 2008)



Pampered pussy Scruffy has got a railway-themed new home after a chance meeting between his owner and eccentric inventor John Ward.

Andrew Lockton was working at David Holland Funeral Directors she the Burton Coggles-based inventor came in to talk to one of his colleagues who is an old friend.

Railway enthusiast Andrew, who lives with wife Stephanie on Belton Avenue, Grantham, said: "We were introduced and I jokingly asked if he did cat houses. I was looking for one but the ones in the shops are all the same, square boxes with a little door.

"He said, "Leave it with me," and the next thing I know he is coming into the yard with this whacking great house. I suppose it's only to be expected from such an eccentric. It's amazing really and I'm sure Scruffy will love it."

The construction, which is over 6ft long and 2ft wide has teak-finished fencing on either side of the building with a sign saying Aslockton on each fence section.

The station name is an amalgamation of Andrew and his wife's initials followed by their surname. the station waiting room, which is adorned with 1960s posters, has glazed windows, a chimney, canopy and even authentic looking pigeon droppings. Final touches, including weatherproofing, are being made to the cat house.

It will have pride of place in the garden in Scruffy's favouriite spot and will blend in nicely with a railway seat Andrew already has.

(The Grantham Journal)

report in THE TIMES

by Hugo Rifkind

Operations are for ever being cancelled because of the shortage of NHS beds. So why not remove the risk and simply drive to hospital in your own? The strangely forgotten Motorised Hospital Bed was the brainchild of the madcap British inventor John Ward — also the creator of the Bra Warmer and the Backpack Snow Machine. (A snow machine? In a backpack? Let it go.)

The bed’s four wheels are steered by a concealed hand control, and the double 12-volt electric motors mean that, downhill and with favourable winds, one can reach speeds of up to 7mph. Because of its electric engine, the police have no legal objection to the Motorised Hospital Bed taking to our roads. Nonetheless, these beds remain curiously rare.

(The Times, November 2004)

Weird England, published in October 2007, featured John prominently in a study of England's local legends, best-kept secrets and uniquely eccentric people.

Featuring John Ward on the cover and extensively written-about inside, the highly-acclaimed academic study Eccentrics - A Study in Sanity and Strangeness by Dr. David Weeks and Jamie James is now available in the US, published by Kodansha International, New York. Click on the cover to link to more details on amazon.com

John wrote a regular column 'Ward's World' for Northamptonshire Reflections, a monthly magazine aimed at people who are older and possibly wiser.Reflections also included pictures and articles of years-gone-by plus gardening, fiction, cookery, health and lots more

...a train in the back garden...

(Photo courtesy Northamptonshire Newspapers Ltd)

Complete in all his finery: "Stanley" was finished in Wilko Red, a sort of fire engine red colour, with various detailing in gold relief. Based on a 2-O-2 engine wheel configuration, it measured over six feet long, six foot four inches high at the cab roof top.
Complete with opening boiler doors and front boiler door, with a pull on the whistle, the next stop could well be anywhere depending on the mind of the child in charge.
Big enough to hold our two young grandchildren, whom it was designed and made for, Stanley’s face was finished in gold lustre with a large red nose on the front of the boiler, with his silk black finish buffers beneath and was mounted on a length of track and sleepers.
Whoo, whoo! - don’t stand too near the platform edge, please! - thank you!.
Fans Fired Up By Latest Invention

It was full steam ahead for wacky inventor John Ward when he built a large toy train for his grandchildren.

Since the completion of the project Mr Ward has had his work featured in the Daily Mail and consequently received dozens of letters asking how he built his marvel and even offers to buy it.

Stanley the Steamer is 6ft 3in high, 28 in wide and 6ft 6in long.

Mr Ward said: "My grandsons are train mad so I thought I would build them a train. It's made from off-cuts of MDF and a selection of things including broom handles, paint tins and a curtain rail. I didn't work to any kind of plan. I just used off-cuts of MDF and made it with what I had....If I could have got hold of enough wood I would make the middle management of Rail Track.

"I received more than 80 phone calls and letters in response from people wanting to build one. I've had people turn up on my doorstep and make me offers for it and have received an invitation to the Swindon Steam Museum. I've even had a woodwork teacher turn up with his children from Peterborough."

In a bid to satisfy his fans Mr Ward is thinking about launching a book of plans of how to build items like Stanley the Steamer.

(Northants Evening Telegraph, October 2003)

The One-Legged Milking Stool
Wacky inventor John Ward has come up with an a-moo-sing idea. Mr Ward, of Handcross Way, Higham Ferrers, demonstrated his one-legged milking stool to farmer John Norton.

Mr Ward said: "The leg is finished in crushed velvet material in a delightful shade of plum , on top of which rests the seat which is also covered."

The Ward-a-Matic One-legged Milking Stool also has fur-lined hand warmers and a light on a telescopic arm. Mr Ward said: "The stool also has an alarm clock for milking times on a swing-out arm and another has a calculator for working out who is giving what and when to whom."

The inventor took his device to Manor Farm, Orlingbury, for a practice session. Mr Norton, who tested the stool, said: "It was a lot of fun and we were very impressed it was excellent. I particularly liked the light on it for night milking."

Mr Ward has produced many bizarre creations, including a teddy bear window display at Rowlatt's, Wellingborough, at Christmas.

(Northants Evening Telegraph, February 2003)

"Reality is for those who lack imagination...."