Having volunteered as a Parish Councillor four years ago, Simon plans to work hard to ensure the village retains the rural character that he loves. He is interested in the local community and also has a desire to get to know more people in the area.
He achieves this at the Peppard Revels Film Club evenings: he enjoys the films but finds the social occasion even more appealing. It affords an opportunity to meet lots of people and listen to their views – an excellent way to collect opinions informally!
Simon and his wife, Mary, moved to Peppard 20 years ago when they bought one of the houses built on the site of the old Highlands School. As an International Sales Manager in the satellite industry, he travelled the world – to Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and also Russia. Initially he enjoyed the excitement of travelling but like so many in this position, the excitement wore off and he found it rather a chore. Having flown in and out of Eastern European airports during his working life, he would love to return with Mary and explore the countries at leisure. Now that he travels purely for pleasure, South America beckons for a future trip.
His working life, and therefore family life too, took him to Lincolnshire and London then culminated with residing in Japan for three years before finally settling in Peppard. He retired 18 months ago and definitely intends to stay put.
Mary was a teaching assistant at Kidmore End School for 20 years and this influenced their decision to send their son and two daughters there.
Now both happily retired, Simon and Mary enjoy gardening although he claims he does the donkey work under the careful supervision of his ‘horticultural advisor’.
Simon was brought up in Hastings, East Sussex, where his grandfather had a TV and radio shop with a repair workshop. From around 10 years old Simon ‘helped’ both his grandfather in the shop and Little Bill, who carried out repairs and would explain his work – thus Simon’s interest in electronics began.
After gaining a degree in Electronic Engineering at Cardiff University he joined the telecomms company Cable and Wireless. Initially he worked in the wireless business and subsequently for a subsidiary of Airbus where he designed, built and sold satellites.
Since he was elected Chairman of the Parish Council in May, he devotes the equivalent of four half days a week to council business. There are also evening meetings and the occasional Planning meeting on a Saturday morning. He is happy to give this commitment for the next two years but then would like to hand over to someone new. Indeed, he envisages the ideal situation as having a rotating chairman with everyone taking a turn.
Simon is at pains to maintain a good relationship with the Sonning Common council: he understands the pressure to build more housing but has no desire to see a re-run of the boundary review.
With what time he has left after council business and gardening, he is an amateur horologist and loves renovating antique clocks and watches. Currently he has some ten antique clocks and upwards of 30 watches. Favourites include an old silver pocket watch hallmarked London 1796. ‘Amazing to think this was hand-made during the year we granted the Americans their independence!’
Perhaps too, when he has more time to spare, he will travel more of the canals and rivers of England in his newly bought 20’ river launch.