Former Quarrendon School teacher passes away

Pam and Ken Downham
Pam and Ken Downham

A former teacher from Aylesbury has died aged 84 following a long illness.

Pam Downham worked at Quarrendon School where she taught art and craft, and also at Broughton Infants.

She lived in Aylesbury for almost 30 years and supported her husband Ken, who was also a teacher, in his civic work as a district councillor and as Chairman of the Charter Trustees (a role subsequently known as town mayor).

Mrs Downham was born in Tring and attended Berkhamsted Girls School as a day girl.

She met her husband when they both taught at a school in Slough.

In 1959 they both took jobs at Quarrendon School in Aylesbury where Mr Downham taught PE. And in 1962 they moved from Tring to live in the town, at Northfield Road on Broughton estate.

Mr Downham later became deputy headmaster of Broughton Junior School and Mrs Downham taught at the infant school.

Together with a group of up to 40 spinners Mrs Downham was involved in a fund raising project to make a vicar’s bedspread decorated with Buckinghamshire swans and Aylesbury ducks for St Mary’s Church in Aylesbury, and on a recent visit to the town a couple of years ago Mr Downham said they saw it still being used, by children who were sitting on it.

Mrs Downham was a great support to her husband in his civic duties as he served on Aylesbury Vale District Council from 1979 to 1987, and was chairman of the Charter Trustees in 1983. During this time the couple met Princess Diana when she came to open Hale Leys shopping centre.

Although they left the town in 1988 following Mr Downham’s retirement, and moved to Herefordshire, they retained their links with Aylesbury and returned frequently to see friends and former pupils.

Mr Downham said: “Quarrendon was a very friendly school and we have had reunions with students, some of whom are now in their 60s.”

The couple had two sons, Jeremy and Patrick, who both live nearby to their father, and six grandsons aged from five to 25 years.

The funeral is at St Mary’s Church, Linton, Ross on Wye, Herefordshire on Friday (January 9) at 2pm.

Donations in memory of Mrs Downham can be made towards the fabric of the church, where she regularly played the organ.

Contact Mr Downham on kendownham@btinternet.com