Farewell to a true Aylesbury gentleman

editorial image

A well-known Aylesbury character whose first ever job as a tea boy at The Bucks Herald has passed away aged 90.

John Henry Carter was born in Aylesbury on May 5 1929.

Sadly his mother Florence died soon after his birth, and he was looked after by his aunt Ivy living at 87 Bicester Road.

John’s daughter Sally said: “To keep him out of trouble and stop him from climbing the trees and running around in all the open fields that are now all the Quarendon estate all the time, Grandma Carter sent him to church to keep him out of trouble.

“As well as attending St John’s Church School, he was a choirboy attending St Mary’s Church every Tuesday and Friday for choir practice and Eucharist on every Sunday morning at 11am and again in the evening at 6pm.

“He had both been christened at and got married at St Mary‘s Church as had his parents and his father and his fathers father and grandfathers all before him had been christened baptised and all married there too.”

And fittingly, Mr Carter’s funeral service will be held at St Mary’s, before he is laid to rest at Aylesbury’s Tring Road Cemetery on September 27 at 2.30pm.

Mr Carter’s first job was at the Bucks Herald offices in Aylesbury, starting off as a teaboy before slowly working your way through and up the ranks.

But this apprenticeship finished when he reached age 21, and in 1950 he was called up for his national service. The service in the army was supposed to be for 18 months but was extended for three years and he served in the King’s own Yorkshire Infantry. This experience resulted in a life-long passion for collecting British Army Infantry cap badges.

During his time in the Army he travelled the world to locations including Penang across the Malacca Straits and attended the 6th regiment Gurkha rifles conference alongside generals and diplomats.

He also served in Malaya, Gurum and Germany.

In July 1956 Mr Carter bought his first, and only home direct from the builder on the new Meadowcroft Estate.

Sally said: “He lived there without changing it whatsoever all of his days and completed his wish of dying there too. He always joked I carried boxes in there and they’ll be carrying me out in a box.”

After his national service Mr Carter set up in business as a painter decorator and glazier and was a popular and well liked man who was very sought-after for his skills working for many businesses and people in and around Aylesbury.

When the old Granada Cinema was the tallest building in Aylesbury he was regularly seen up the top of it on his ladder painting the barge boards and gable ends, people used to take pictures and often asked him was he not scared

Sally said: “His great passions in life were his horse racing and he was a frequent face to be seen in many of the local betting shops with his pound to win here or his pound each way bets.”

Mr Carter also enjoyed dancing, and attended tea dance events all over Aylesbury, dancing up until just a month ago at the Alfred Rose Community Centre in Dunsham Lane.

He passed away peacefully on September 10 after a short illness bravely borne.

He leaves behind daughters Sally and Julie, grandchildren Aaron, Cara, Ciaran, Nathan and his only great grandchild Kain who he was exceptionally proud of and who was born only in the last few weeks of his life,

Sally said: “This gave him great pleasure at the very end.”

All are invited and warmly welcomed at the funeral, but the family have requested that it be family flowers only, and that instead, donations if desired to benefit The Disabled Jockey Fund.

All enquiries to K Y Green Funeral Directors Tel: 01296 482041