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In Memory - Martin Blunkell MBE (1942 - 2022)
Martin Blunkell MBE, Chairman of The Marlow Society 2012 - 2022, sadly passed away on Sunday 26th June 2022.
Martin was born in the village of Boxmoor, Hertfordshire and won a scholarship to nearby St Alban's School. On leaving university he joined the RAF and thoroughly enjoyed a career as an electronic engineer, rising to the rank of Wing Commander. Two overseas postings followed, the first of which was to West Berlin during the Cold War. He ran 26 Signals Unit which dealt with classified communications matters and for which he was awarded an MBE. A second posting abroad was to the Sultanate of Oman which he found fascinating and where he thoroughly enjoyed experiencing Omani culture and learning about the Muslim faith.
He worked in the aerospace industry after leaving the Forces, and travelled the world marketing UK defence radar. Throughout his working life he revelled in international travel and the opportunity to explore new cultures.
He was posted to the RAF base at Medmenham in 1970 and the family moved along the road to Marlow 3 years later. Despite further overseas postings, Marlow remained very much home and on retirement, he finally had the time to get involved in several local organisations.
Our President, Sir Keith Stuart, writes:
When Ron Waters retired as Chairman of the Society in 2012, Martin Blunkell was the natural choice to take on this gruelling role. He had already served as a highly effective Secretary over several years. In the event, he proved more than a match for the many challenges which he and his executive team were to face over the ensuing ten years.
Many people will share Martin's love of Marlow, but few could match his outstanding commitment and hard work in the interests of the town. He had an exceptional capacity to digest, analyse, and unravel the huge volume of planning documents to which the Society is required to respond, often within a very limited time frame. He would then, when necessary, challenge the planning authorities and developers by appearing in person at committee meetings or enquiries, and putting the Society's case eloquently and forcefully, often with positive results.
Martin was a true "allrounder" with many interests absorbing his extraordinary energy and enthusiasm, not least his much loved family. This makes it all the more remarkable that he found so much time to serve the Marlow Society with such distinction and success over ten years as Chairman. Martin's many achievements as our Chairman will resonate long into the future.