John Simpson was born in Shildon, Co Durham in 1846.
He first worked at Townley Colliery, Ryton then moved to Rhos Llantwit Colliery, Caerphilly in 1867 and then to Heworth Colliery in 1872 where he was manager for many years
He was Chair of the Felling Local Board in 1887.
He became a member of NEIMME in 1866 and was President in 1917-19. He died in 1932.