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Margaret, Jennifer and John
John was born in Nottingham, England in 1944. He lived in the Midlands and attended school in South London. His mother Florence, before she got married, taught in Madagascar for the London Missionary Society so John’s school Eltham College was appropriate as it was a school for the sons of missionaries. John trained with and worked for the Ordnance Survey, the UK’s national map maker before emigrating to Canada in the mid 1960s. Upon returning to the UK in 1970 he was appointed the first cartographer at the Open University in Milton Keynes soon after it opened in 1969.
John continues to work after retirement and specialises in map design and illustration, desktop publishing, website construction and photography. He is married to Anne, they have two children and three grand-children. In 2020 John wrote Life's Journey with cartographic meanderings, a biography that has a comprehensive history of his life – so far. Find out more here.
Margaret gained a Degree in Geography at the University of Durham followed by a Dip Ed at Oxford and then, over the years, went on to hold various teaching positions both at the Secondary school level and in the Tertiary Education sector in England and in Australia. Along the way she undertook research into Urban Climatology, gaining an M. Litt at Bristol University in England and a Ph. D. at Macquarie University in Australia. Over the years she was also invited to produce a number of publications which reflected her involvement and concerns in regard to Women’s, Human Rights and Peace issues.
Margaret lived on a small farm that she and her husband Michael bought quarter of a century ago. Being only too aware of the dangers of global warming they have been doing their best to live as sustainably as possible, planting trees, putting in solar power and collecting their own water supplies, as well as growing vegetables and bushfoods. As an artist her landscapes and botanical paintings reflect and comment on the area in which she now lives and the impact that humans have had on it. The farm is in an area surrounded by World Heritage Rainforests, which for the first time ever burned in the fires in 2019. In 2021 Margaret and Michael move to Canberra.
Jennifer spent the first 5 years of her life in Nottingham. She has a few memories of that time such as the long narrow garden at the back, the grapevine in the green house and that she went to nursery school by bus with her sister. The family moved to Hinckley in 1947 to live in a private school that her parents had bought. The garden was large with a lawn, flowerbeds and a playground which doubled up as netball and tennis court. The three children had a lot of freedom vanishing for hours on end into the loft they made their own and cycle rides out into the country.
After passing the 11+ she joined sister Margaret as a boarder at Walthamstow Hall in Sevenoaks and stayed there until reaching eighteen. The death of her father on November 22nd 1955 though turned her world upside down: She has a crystal clear memories of that day, travelling home and the funeral.
She always wanted to be a nurse and got accepted at Guy’s Hospital, London in her last year at WH. In between school and nurse training she spent a year as an au pair in France acquiring fluent French and cookery skills. After completing her training she decided the orthodox nursing career was not for her so took a History degree at Bristol University. She was then fortunate to find a way of combining her nursing and academic qualifications and went on to have an interesting career holding research posts in mostly hospital settings, then senior nurse management posts, a short spell in the Department of Health and finally as Director of a new Nursing Research Unit in Scotland. For most of her career she was single not marrying until age 48 to Ramsay. His two adult sons welcomed her and have become great stepsons and as they married and had children have given her five lovely and loving grandchildren. She spent 25 wonderful years together with Ramsay managing to celebrate our silver Wedding Anniversary just two months before he died.
Having downsized to Cambridge, as well as enjoying social activities like the theatre, eating out and French Conversation classes with friends and relatives she continues her involvement in nursing and research with an Honorary Professorship at Anglia Ruskin University. She lives part time in her house near Uzes in France.