Farewell to Aylesbury business stalwart

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A prominent local businessman who was the first branch manager of the Halifax building society in Aylesbury has died, aged 91.

Victor Townsend managed the Market Square branch for 18 years, a career spanning from 1968 to 1986. He joined as a clerk in the 1950s when the branch opened, overseeing great expansion after leaving Oxford Boys’ Central Technical School. Here he picked up essential skills such as: shorthand, typing and book-keeping.

The Market Square branch where Victor worked is famous for being a film location in the long running 1970s sitcom - “The Brothers”.

He began his working life at the city chambers, before it was intterupted by wartime service for the RAF.

His Daughter Ruth, said:”He was committed to making home ownership a reality for ordinary working people and was dedicated to the art of thrift and saving.He oversaw many changes in his long career, technological in the replacement of pass-books, fountain pens and ledgers for IT equipment but also in the ethos of banking as building socieities moved from ‘mutualisation’ to high street orientated banking.”

Victor remained involved with the building society even after his retirement, attending social functions for retired staff until very recently.

He was very passionate about keeping alive the memory of the airmen and women who served in WW2, and when he retired he became a prominent member of his Local Air Crew Association, as well as engaging in an annual meeting of the old comrades in his squadron, Hyderabad 152.

During the war he had trained as a navigator in a Lancaster bomber - flying missions towards the end of the war, most notably during operation MANNA which dropped flood relief on the Netherlands. He also helped in the return of troops from Italy.

He and his wife vivienne moved to Hampshire after he retired, finding solace in long walks by the sea. He was widowed in 2015, just weeks before they celebrated their 65 year anniversary. He leaves behind 3 daughters, 5 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. Got a story? Email it to editorial@bucksherald.co.uk