Local Face: Jackie Sambucci

  |  Published: Apr 1st 2016

Jackie Buggey was a wartime baby, born in Clay Lane in November 1943. Her earliest memory is before she went to school, dragging wood across the fields which are now the main school campus in Wendover. She remembers climbing on the back of Charlie Spittal’s horse and cart with other local children, mostly from Clay Lane, to ride down Wharf Road towards the farm buildings in The Pennings, now converted into dwellings.

When it was time for Jackie to start school she went to a new prefab building along Heron Path, outside the main campus of Wendover School near the Clock Tower with Mr Edgington as Headmaster. That school has now been turned into houses and the prefab which for many years was the Headquarters of the Venture Scouts is now but a ruin. Jackie’s family, including her parents, an aunt and uncle and her two sisters, were thrilled to move to a new 4 bedroomed house in Woollerton Crescent. Jackie was in the first intake at John Colet School with Mr Crick as headmaster. She founded a dynasty as both her children attended JCS and her grandchildren, Holly and Jack, are there now. 

Nearly all Colet pupils left school at 15 in those days and along with many of the girls she found shop work in Wendover, starting at Mr Renn’s toys and fine china shop where the Post Office shop is now. In the late 1950s the High Street was full of individually owned shops including Woodwards the Chemist where Christopher Pallet and The Barbershop are now. Wheeler’s Grocery occupied what is now Agora and the Post Office. That part of the High Street also had a wet fish shop and Webb’s fruiterer plus International Stores. Major Allbrook, landlord of the Red Lion, lived with his family in what is now Hamnett Hayward. There were two pubs - The Swan and The Two Brewers then a cottage with two sets of steps up and the bank - Smith’s Bank (Lord of the Manor) before it was absorbed into the NatWest.

The Manor Waste offered Sargeant’s Chemists, Friar Tuck Restaurant and Alex & Co, a TV shop. In Pound Street were Nicholls Stores and the Anne Boleyn Bakery. Starting again at the bottom of the High Street were Hampshires the Ironmonger and Hardware store, Daniel’s paper shop, Ivatt’s shoe shop. Where Brown & Merry is now was a private house. Next to the Red Lion were  greengrocers and Smith the butcher. Hogarth House was another greengrocers next to a bank and allotments before the King’s Head pub. Then a linen, clothes and haberdashery shop, Bell’s. Antiques at Wendover was the Post Office then private houses, Godwin’s the newsagent and Burke’s Jewellery. The local girls had plenty of boys to choose from, extras supplied by RAF Halton, and in 1962, Jackie met Victor Sambucci from Brighton who was a chef at RAF Halton. They married in 1964 and soon moved into a small cottage in Clay Lane, now replaced by The Maples. Richard was born in the RAF Hospital in 1969 and Kim in 1971. Jackie was able to return to work part-time as Victor had moved into civilian work so he could look after the children on Saturdays and they moved to a 3-bedroom house in Tring Road in 1972 then downsized to Vinetrees in 2005.

By now Jackie was working part-time at the Chemist’s with her Clay Lane childhood friend Jenny and stayed 17 years. She saw a notice in 1988 for receptionist at an optometrist’s opening a branch in Wendover and that is when she first met Ivan Cammack. She has been with the company since they started in Holly Court and is now on the High Street. During that time she has moved with the new technology and become computer literate. Jackie loves her work and has no plans yet to retire. 

Jackie Sambucci
Jackie at work
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