Local Face: Jean Palmer

  |  Published: May 1st 2009
Jean Palmer

Jean Palmer was born in 1928 near Buckingham and spent her early years in Leighton Buzzard. She attended Aylesbury Grammar School and thereafter trained as a draughtsman in local government. Jean married her husband Gerald in 1952 at Holy Trinity, Aylesbury.

In July 1957 they came to live in Weston Turville and were overjoyed to find a house next door to a farm yard as both she and her husband were reared in village communities and it felt like they were coming home.

Once Jean left work and did not have to take the bus into Aylesbury six days a week, she joined every committee that would have her, because she has always believed very strongly that if one lives in a community one should contribute to it. Jean also confesses to having an enthusiasm for raising funds for worthwhile causes and although she feels she has never managed to raise vast sums, she always wanted to give value and recognition to those who contribute too.

Over the years Jean has helped to campaign and fund raise for recreation areas for small children as well as for sports equipment. Jean was instrumental in getting the project of building a tennis court for the local Youth Club in Weston Turville, a very exciting project for all the village and she did manage to inspire a lot of interest within the village for this facility.

Jean was one of the three people to start off the first Parent-Participating Playgroup—something which she is very proud of and emphasizes that they were the first among surrounding villages to do this.

The Weston Turville Village Pantomime starring the Weston Turville Players, launched in the 1980s survived for 15 years. The light fun and perfectly rhyming scripts were all written by Jean and any village children wishing to participate in the pantomimes were all made very welcome. This of course, ensured full houses with great audience participation with a favourite Dame making his inimitable annual appearances - something all villagers looked forward to (whilst driving Jean around the bend as he changed the script whenever he forgot his lines….)

Jean was also the organiser of the Annual Craft Fair that took place each autumn in the Village Hall successfully well into the 1990s. This introduced a great many people from outside the village and many of the crafts people involved have become her lasting friends.

On Sunday 19 January past members of the Weston Turville Players, Youth Club, Scouts, Play Group, Church Flower Arrangers, Parish Council and those who have always participated in her many fund raising events came together to show their appreciation to her. There was plenty of food and drink in the decorated village hall with a display of photographs and scripts from past productions. Some ex cast members came in costume, and many messages of thanks and poems were read out. This was a complete surprise for Jean and she was delighted.

Jean continues to be an active member of St Mary the Virgin Church in Weston Turville

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