Local Face: Tony Mogford

  |  Published: Oct 31st 2012

Tony Mogford has been a familiar face in Wendover since 1952 when he took the tenancy of Bank Farm from the fairly new Lord of the Manor Lionel Abel–Smith.  This friendship led to 35 years as the chairman of Wendover Community Trust (now the Lionel Abel-Smith Trust).  Within 2 years of arrival he had won the heart of, and married, Mary Pheby, “the girl next door” who lived in Brook House.  They are blessed with two children, Jacky and Edward, and 5 grandchildren.

Tony has always seen himself as a farmer although his family background is not agricultural. At Berkshire College of Agriculture he was the first student President then Governor for over 50 years including 10 years as Chair and now Honorary.

This pattern of service to the community followed by glowing accolades has been the pattern of his life.  This includes 25 years in Local Government including Aylesbury Rural District Council through becoming the first chair of  Aylesbury Vale District Council and the opening of the Civic Centre (recently demolished).  Through him, AVDC was among the first Districts in Bucks to have sheltered accommodation.  He then moved on to Bucks County Council, retiring in 1985.  For long he stood as an independent unopposed then it became imperative to join a party to have any influence.  In addition he did stints with Buckingham Development Corporation,  Thames Valley Police, Aylesbury Festival of the Arts and Bucks Association for Mental Health.

Tony has always supported education and projects involving the young.  This led to chairing the governing bodies of Green Park Youth Training Centre, John Colet School and Aylesbury College.  This included extending the Colet playing field when there was a threat from the proposed bypass.  It also meant fighting very hard to rebuild the school when the original structure started to rot.  Tony formed the Oxon & Bucks Branch of the Prince’s Trust as the first chair and was granted two Royal warrants.

In 1999 Tony received the MBE for education, and work in the community of Buckinghamshire.

Meanwhile he continued to be busy helping people and organisations in Wendover as well.  He joined the Sports Supporters Club and took over from Bill Brook and Oliver Floyd.  They ran a local mini football “pools” keeping 50% of the weekly pot.  Tony encouraged the Lord of the Manor to make available to the Tennis and Squash Club valuable building land in Dobbins Lane.  When Captain Tom Barlow bought Witchell from the Lord of the Manor to give to Wendover (in the same way that his father had given Hampden Meadow) it was Tony who helped to level the uneven ground with his farm equipment.  The first early 1960s Carnival to raise money for the swimming pool was held on their field in Hale Lane.  Tony and Mary gave full support to the annual Gymkhana.  Later Tony supported fully the covering of the pool which is now named after him.  He led the successful refurbishment of Wendover Memorial Hall and most recently helped with the refurbishment of St Anne’s Hall. His latest honour was to be awarded the 2012 Presidents’ Prize by the Wendover Society of which he was a founder member and vice-chair for 17 years, gratefully received last month.

Tony Mogford
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