John Evans was the eldest member of the Weatherfield sea cadets. Jerry Booth had built his own boat, a heron-class dingy which he named "Shangri-La", and wanted lessons in how to sail the vessel. After being laughed at by Freddie Baxter of the Weatherfield Sailing Club, Jerry attended a meeting of the cadets at the Community Centre. As Officer Arthur Sugden hadn't arrived, he spoke with young Phil Banks and John who were both impressed that Jerry had his own boat as the cadets were short of vessels in which the practice. Later, John led the other cadets to the Builder's Yard to see the boat where they expressed admiration for his work and John offered his services to Jerry as a crew member.