Local Face: John & Margaret Currell

  |  Published: Feb 1st 2019

John is a Bucks lad whilst Margaret hails from Derby.

John was schooled at RGS High Wycombe and then graduated in Civil Engineering at Kings College London.

Margaret is a convent educated girl who then qualified as a State Registered Nurse at the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary.

Theirs is a holiday romance, having met in 1962 in the then Yugoslavia – and they all said it wouldn’t last! The courtship was protracted and long distance as they were working and/or studying in different parts of the country. However, it lasted the test of time and marriage followed in 1967.

Their first home was in Chesham whilst John was working in London and Margaret obtained a Staff Nurse post at Amersham Hospital.

John began seeking employment away from London. Out of the blue, a job came up at Bucks County Council, ostensibly working on the planning and construction of the new City of Milton Keynes.

The couple moved, for the first time, to Wendover in 1971 and soon the family had increased to four with the arrival of James followed by Mark.

Looking for a bigger house and spooked by what then seemed to be the ridiculous prices of Wendover houses they moved to Aylesbury. Nevertheless, they had established some kind of a root system in Wendover and always imagined they might return one day.

That day did not arrive for nearly 30 years! In the meantime, they lived happily and productively in Aylesbury. Typical of a growing family, life was never still or dull. There were careers to be established and sustained, children to be guided and educated, many sports to be played, gardens to be tended and dogs to be walked.

After the boys had grown a bit, Margaret, a true vocational nurse, resumed work at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. She then moved to become a founder staff member at the Florence Nightingale Hospice ultimately practicing as a Community Palliative Care Nurse Specialist. She remained at the Hospice until (and after) she retired in 2008. John never managed to leave BCC and after several promotions ended up as Head of Transportation.

The links with Wendover were maintained; James attended the John Colet School and both boys played junior and senior cricket at Wendover Cricket Club.

James & Mark went off to University and then into their chosen careers. John retired in 2002 and serious thoughts then turned to moving, probably back to Wendover. This was achieved in 2006.

After a year or so sorting out their house and re-establishing some of their old contacts in Wendover they started involving themselves in community activities. After spending the obligatory time on the waiting list, they were accepted into Wendover U3A and joined a variety of groups. John still leads the Discussion Group and Margaret pursues French and Gardening, but their general level of activity has dropped off recently.

From an early date, John joined the Friends of Wendover Health Centre as a volunteer driver. He also was involved in the establishment of the Wendover Community Library and remains a footpath maintenance volunteer with the Chiltern Society.

Both try to keep fit and took up Pilates. Margaret delivers the Wendover News and sings in a local choir. However, her main voluntary responsibility is as Secretary of the Wendover Evening WI. John says that if, when she was a practising nurse, anyone had said that his wife would eventually join the WI, he would have thought that they were bonkers – it just goes to show that we can surprise each other.

Having served another required period on the waiting list, John eventually was accepted as a tenant on the Ashbrook Allotment Site (WAAA). He has now progressed to become Secretary so that he is now responsible for “hiring & firing”. He also now sub-lets a part of one of his allotments to Margaret!

It was as Secretary of WAAA that caused John to be asked, and to accept, to become a member of the team producing the Wendover Neighbourhood Plan. That has been an interesting, prolonged and at times exasperating experience; but, happily, the Plan process is nearing completion and that responsibility is drawing to a close.

Sport and physical activity has always been an integral part of the Currell family round. Activity has moderated over time. John strolls round Chiltern Forest Golf Club with the seniors. Margaret has ridden horses all her life, without ever having actually owned one! She is lucky enough to still have the energy and the opportunity to ride locally most weeks.

Walking, and walking holidays, have also been a staple activity throughout their married life if only through the necessity of walking one of their various boisterous dogs. When James & Mark had become independent, John & Margaret were lucky to be able to partake in several trekking holidays in far flung parts including Nepal and South America. Life on those trips was often basic and spartan but the experiences were memorable. The couple feel very privileged to have retained reasonably good health. Walking remains a pastime but distances are modest.

The family has increased in number in recent years. James has two young sons in London, whilst Mark has three children in Sydney. Happily, things like Skype enable regular contact to be maintained with all the grandchildren.

John & Margaret
John & Margaret on a walking holiday.
Images courtesy John & Margaret Currell.
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