Tribute: Jeremy Nicholson

  |  Published: Jan 2nd 2018

Jeremy Nicholson was a 1945 war baby, premature and a surviving twin. Remarkably, he eventually grew to 6ft 3inches. He was born into a military family who were stationed in Canada while he was an infant so he didn’t start school until he was 7 years old, as was the local custom. Later he went to Wellington College and eventually qualified as an accountant.

Jeremy was a life-long party animal, always great fun to be with. He enjoyed gate-crashing parties and was usually welcome as he’d have a half bottle of gin in his pocket. He was doing just that on 22 November 1963 when he met Sarah. A date fixed in the minds of anyone who knew J F Kennedy. A 5-year courtship ensued before they were married.

Their first home was in Haddenham where they had a Mini and a dog. Jeremy would drive to Wendover because in those days station parking (in the coal yard) was free. He worked in the City, then Tottenham Court Road. The front carriage was full of smokers who prided themselves on toasting anything worthwhile - the birth of a child, naturally, and Jeremy had three, including daughter Charlotte.

In 1977 they moved to Bucksbridge House at about the same time that Wendover Cricket Club built a pavilion on The Witchell. This suited Jeremy down to the ground as he was an active member - as were his sons, Charlie and Michael. Cricket Week during the summer holidays was always a highlight, even when French visitors were staying. Jeremy was Chairman of Wendover Cricket Club for many years, only retiring last year. The latter years of tenure were constantly overshadowed by HS2. Jeremy loved sport and Sky TV was a dream come true for him. He also liked a spot of golf, first at Ellesborough and later at Ashridge.

Jeremy was a “one company man” working for 40 years as his company expanded through acquisition and eventually became Ernst & Young and with Jeremy ending his career in charge of Pensions. This latterly involved a drive to Reading but he always kept in touch with the commuting friends and joined the annual Christmas Lunch in London which finished with Carols on the return journey for everyone who sat in that carriage.This might have been the stimulus for the famous Nicholson pre-Christmas party for family and friends which also featured Carols from the Rupert Bear Carol Book, originally accompanied by Gordon Cumming on piano, then keyboard.

Three years after Jeremy and Sarah had downsized to Bacombe Lane, news of the proposed High Speed railway arrived and almost all their original neighbours have now moved away. Sarah had a new garden to develop and this time included a natural swimming pool even though Jeremy wasn’t so impressed with it! He loved the social aspects when groups of visitors came under the auspices of the National Open Gardens Scheme, especially helping with the parking and refreshments.

In his retirement, Jeremy helped with Wendover Community Car. His daily routine was to drive into Wendover with Twinkle, the black labrador, to have an early morning coffee in Crumbs, a walk, then a trip to the King & Queen. He enjoyed his eight grandchildren. The eldest two are already at University. They describe their grandfather as being a fun person with impeccable manners, piercing blue eyes and a sense of mischief.

Jeremy died unexpectedly in October 2017.

Jeremy Nicholson, courtesy Sarah Nicholson
Jeremy at Wendover Cricket Club President's Day, courtesy Wendover Cricket Club
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