Local Face: Margaret Gosling

  |  Published: Sep 1st 2010
Margaret Gosling

Born in Pinner, Middlesex, in 1946 Margaret spent a happy childhood there and attended Harrow County Grammar School for Girls to sixteen. She was an active member of St. John Ambulance Brigade earning her Grand Prior Badge. In 1961 she was on the winning team of four girls at the National Competition in First Aid and Home Nursing.

Margaret met her husband, Ian, at a school dance in 1962 whilst working as a Mapping Assistant at H.M. Land Registry. They were married in 1966, living in Chalfont St. Peter and Banbury before moving to Bryants Acre in Wendover in September 1975. By then they had three fine sons - Andrew, Daniel and Dominic who all attended John Hampden and Wendover Church of England Middle Schools. The family felt at home in Wendover from the start.

After a spell as a Registered Child Minder, Margaret became a Welfare Assistant at Wendover House working in the classroom as well as taking care of pupils who were injured or unwell. In 1984 she transferred to the Middle School where she stayed until her retirement in December 2006. Over 2,000 children passed through the School during that time, most of whom were treated and comforted by Margaret when they hurt themselves. She assisted the teachers in the classroom passing on her needlework and cookery skills. Each year in July before the children moved to secondary school they performed a musical show for their parents. For over twenty years Margaret indulged her interest in theatrical costume design by producing most of the costumes for these productions.

When Mr. Pammenter retired as Headmaster in 1992 he left the school archives with Margaret for safe keeping. These she found fascinating, not just for what they told her about the School, but also about life in Wendover in days gone by. She passed on what she had discovered through historical talks to pupils. Since retiring she has written a full history of the School for the children and staff. The archives are now safely deposited at County Hall.

Since 1995 Margaret has been a regular member of St. Mary’s Church. As well as acting as a server, she is the Sacristan responsible for the communion vessels and church linen. She still uses her creative skills as a member of the team who dress the window of the @stmary’s shop and these displays sometimes include information about the history of Wendover. In February 2008 Margaret was invited to present a talk on this subject to the SAGES Group at St. Mary’s and she has since presented a number of talks to other groups. Margaret, and her husband Ian, also raise funds for the Friends of St. Mary’s by escorting groups on walks around the Village looking at its history through its buildings. They are both members of the team who present ‘A Walk Through Wendover’s History’ in period costume.

During this period many people said to Margaret “ you should write a book” and this is what she has done. Based on her popular and successful walks the book is a comprehensive, chronological history of the development of Wendover from the earliest times and the lives of the people who have lived there. ‘Our Place in History – the Story of Wendover’ will be available from Wednesday 1 September at Wendover Bookshop and Clocktower, price £12.99. Meet Margaret in Wendover Library on Friday 3 September at 10.30am.

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