Local Face: Christopher Pallet

  |  Published: Oct 1st 2016

Chris lived a fairly conventional life in the London suburbs until he was 9 and his mother bought a Newsagent/Tobacconist/Confectioners shop just off Little Venice whilst his father carried on his job. He helped in the shop on weekends and holidays constantly eating sweets, learning customer service and how to deal with the many eccentric people in that area. When he was 15 he came home from school one day to find his father had died. The shop only closed on the day of the funeral.

After a few years Chris’s mother decided she wanted to renovate a cottage and found one in Marsworth. This coincided with Chris leaving the excellent St Marylebone Grammar School. He came to Aylesbury and was articled as Trainee Surveyor to the Senior Partner of an old established firm of Surveyors and Estate Agents W Brown and Co. Chris studied in the evenings and weekends passing the professional RICS examinations in 1965. To fill in the time between working or studying, Chris and his brother worked on the modernisation of a number of properties.

In 1967 Chris was made manager of Brown & Merry in Wendover which led to him becoming involved in the planning and sale of land where the Paddocks and Icknield Close extension now stand. He became Secretary of the Wendover Traders Group. Having become a Wendoverphile, Chris decided to open his own business here. He spent three years in London whilst seeking premises – a difficult process since the Lord of the Manor owned most of the shops and had a single trade policy. Eventually Chris’ mother bought 19 Aylesbury Road and permission was granted for offices in the front ground floor rooms. Curiously, that building is now returning to residential use. Chris also bought a derelict property at Worlds End and half rebuilt and modernised it. After several owners, this is now Chiltern Court Care Home.

Chris opened his office in 1973 concentrating on building survey and valuation work whilst the Estate Agency business slowly established. In 1974 things were getting busy so Chris asked John Hinton to come and run the office temporarily and the business grew. John remains a Business Partner after 42 years. Then in 1975 Chris took over the offices of another firm of Agents at 8 High Street also buying the freehold. During the 1970s and 80s John and Chris obtained planning permission for clients to convert a number of Wendover residential properties into offices since they were a more lucrative investment. The trend is now back to residential.

During the ‘70s Chris became a founder member of Wendover Round Table and a member of the Committee which built the Abbeyfield House in Dobbins Lane. He was Chairman for many years. In 1977 Chris married Liz who also became a partner in the firm, running admin and accounts. Claire was born in 1979 and Natalie in 1981. Also in 1977 the Great Missenden Office opened, followed by Aylesbury and Stokenchurch in 1985.

One of the first houses Chris sold in 1973 was in Manor Crescent and cost £12,800. Those houses are now in the £400,000s. Wendover clients have been wonderful to deal with and the firm still deals with many of their original clients, their children and grandchildren. 

Three years ago, Chris and John transferred the Wendover Sales to their Partners in Aylesbury and Ross Final came as Partner at Wendover, carrying on the tradition of caring service whilst also updating the image and technology. Chris believes that until the transfer, it was the longest established private business under the same owner in the town. Keith Worger, who has been with the firm many years, is Sales Manager. Jan Kempster, again a long standing employee, bought and runs the letting department. Chris and John now work at a slightly slower pace from 8 High Street, dealing with Development Land and Commercial. 

With the family house and garden in Weston Turville being too large when the children left, Chris and Liz moved back to Wendover two years ago. They love the proximity of everything in the town. They have four grandchildren. 

Christopher Pallet
Christopher Pallet
The "Dream Team": John, Chris & Ross
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