Local Face: Chris Peeler

  |  Published: Mar 1st 2014

Chris and his wife, Mary, have lived in this area for nearly fifty years. After six years in Weston Turville, they moved with their family to their present house in Wendover where they have lived for the last 41 years.

After leaving school, Chris did national service in the RAF when he studied Russian and qualified as a linguist. He then studied agriculture at university and worked for the Ministry of Agriculture (now DEFRA) for twelve years, ending up as an adviser to farmers in Bucks. Two of these twelve years were spent working for the Ministry of Agriculture in Kenya which had just gained independence. His knowledge of Russian came in handy on one occasion when he acted as interpreter to a Romanian agronomist who was on a visit to Kenya. He then worked for the National Farmers' Union in London for 26 years until his retirement 15 years ago.

Since retirement, Chris has been active on a number of local fronts. He was a parish councillor for six years and took a strong interest in transport and road safety as well as maintenance of local footpaths.

Chris and Mary have both actively promoted cycling within the village for the last 14 years and Chris is currently chair of Get Wendover Cycling – the local cycling group (www.getwendovercycling.org).  During this time, a number of substantial improvements have been achieved. Cycle racks are now available in the centre of the village, at the railway station, by the Memorial Hall and elsewhere. Cycle paths have been provided along Aylesbury Road, Tring Road and Manor Road. Get Wendover Cycling enjoys a close and friendly relationship with officials of Bucks County Council and Chris is hoping there will be some significant improvements to the local cycling infrastructure in the not too distant future.

However, the cycle path to Aylesbury from Wendover (which is one of the Gemstone routes) requires substantial restoration and the reduction in street lighting has been highly disadvantageous for cyclists. At the present time, GWC is actively striving to have installed some alternative system of lighting. This is essential in order to encourage cyclists to use this very important route after dark. Looking further into the future, Chris would love to see the construction of a boardwalk across the canal which would give safe and direct access to the schools via Victory Road.

To mark National Bike Week, Get Wendover Cycling organises a family bike ride in June. This has been well attended in the past and it is hoped that this event will continue to be staged in future years.

Chris and Mary have a large mature garden and Chris has helped over the last sixteen years to organise “Wendover Open Gardens” and this has raised funds for various charities such as the local wildlife trust, Rennie Grove Hospice Care and Save the Children.

They help to run Wendover Bridge Club which meets at the Cricket Pavilion, Witchell and provides useful financial support to the cricket club.

Chris and Mary greatly enjoy living in Wendover and consider that it is an ideal place to bring up a family. They have three children all of whom are married and there are now seven grandchildren. Two of their children have worked abroad and this has provided opportunities for Chris and Mary to revisit Kenya three times as well as New Zealand, USA and Holland. But all are now back in the UK – their eldest child, Andrew, lives in Wendover with his wife Fiona and their three grown up children, two of whom are now at university.

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