The grandson of famous travelling showman Pat Collins, John ran the family amusement park at Barry Island in South Wales together with his brother Pat from 1966 to 1983, before embarking on a career with the Tussauds Group, where as well as working with domestic parks such as Alton Towers he also oversaw the development of Port Aventura in Spain.
As well as serving with IAAPA, where his chairman from November 2002 to 2003, John was also a founder of the Association of Welsh Tourist Attractions, a president of the Europarks lobby group and chairman of BALPPA, the British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions. Currently working with his son Michael as an advisor to Leisure Development Partners, John remains a BALPPA committee member, chairman of the Hastings Pier Trust and a non-executive director of Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
The honour couldn’t have gone to a more worthy and knowledgeable person in the leisure industry.” Brian Osborne, owner of Barry Island’s Fun Harbour Centre and a former employee of John’s, told the local press.
Pictured below: John with Amanda Thompson of Blackpool Pleasure Beach, where he is a non-executive director