Taken from Wales Online:
Tributes have been paid to a hugely popular designer and businessman who played a key role in his community, from his role at the market to the popular Alfred’s Bar and Grill.
Father-of-two and grandfather-of-one Nicholas Stradling John has died aged 48 after a life that included designing a memorial sculpture to Owain Glyndwr’s youngest daughter, which now stands in London, as well as having a hand in numerous businesses in Pontypridd. His family said that he died on July 27 after a “sudden illness”.
Born in Cardiff on November 8, 1968, to parents David and Janice, Mr John studied at Wycliffe College, Gloucestershire, before graduating in fashion design with honours at Nottingham University.
His brother, David, said: “During his career, he was a director of several investment companies including Pontypridd Market and Fairs Ltd whilst also pursuing his passion for art.”
An example of Mr John’s unique design skill is the memorial sculpture to Owain Glyndwr’s youngest daughter, Catrin, at St Swithen’s Square in London.
It’s inspired by the little girl who was captured with her children and mother, Glyndwr’s wife, at Harlech Castle in 1409 by the army of Henry IV, before being held prisoner at the Tower of London as political hostages. The sculpture is intended to unite Welsh communities as a reminder of how national identity was built, as well as in reflection on the memorial’s theme of the suffering of women and children during times of war.
Mr John designed the monument alongside sculptor Richard Renshaw of Cwmdu.
David added: “He got himself around through all his activities and became involved with this project having been involved in other pieces of Welsh art, and was quite pleased with that. He was there when it was unveiled back in 2001.”
Mr John was also passionate about the local area and committing companies to invest in Pontypridd and the Valleys, playing his part in Alfred’s Bar and Grill and a number of other firms.
Also a keen supporter of local charities, he was founding member of the Leah Beth Foundation, in aid of helping children with Wilms’ disease – a cancer of the kidneys.
David added: “Nicholas’ hobbies included walking with his dogs, reading and knowledge of wines. Other interests included Celtic history and rugby.
“Most of all, Nicholas loved being a dad to his two daughters Kelly and Amelia and a grandfather to Amelie. The children are finding it very hard at the moment. We are pulling together as a family and he will be widely missed.
“It was a big shock to anyone who knew him. He was very well liked in the community and very sociable, both in work and outside of work. We have had lots of messages of condolence from all over a broad section of the community – from local politicians to local shopkeepers.”
As well as his daughters and granddaughter, Mr John is also survived by his parents David and Janice, and brothers David and Nigel.
The funeral was attended by a number of OWs who were his contemporaries at Wycliffe.
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