John “Peter” Thomas spent his early days in Swansea, but after his town was blitzed in World War Two, his family moved to Cae-Newydd Farm in Garngoch Common and later to Trafle Lodge, Stafford Common. While at the farm he lived directly opposite the Garngoch collieries, which at the time were in full production as part of the war effort.
He attended Dynevor Grammar School, Swansea, Swansea College of Technology and later, the universities of Birmingham and Wales. He also served an engineering apprenticeship followed by several years’ experience and spent many years in the manufacturing industry. He is currently a lecturer in Engineering and Design at Gower College, Gorseinon.
He has a long-term interest in the industrial history of the Swansea district and has published a journal article entitled ‘A Consideration of Technical Education in the Swansea District 1800-1900’ which appeared in the ‘Vocational Aspects of Education’ in 1979.