Local Face: Cherry-Anne Evans

On Friday 1st September 1939, little Cherry-Anne and her classmates were bundled into a train with their teacher. They were being evacuated from London but they didn’t know the destination. Younger siblings were allowed on the coach so sister Lisbeth came too, along with mother, a Welfare Assistant. They were billeted on a young couple in Wingrave who were so kind that they involved them in all aspects of their own family and village life. Hence they became Bucks by adoption. Before long they managed to rent a cottage so that father could join them and travel daily to town. The tales Cherry-Anne tells about these times are being published in the Wingrave Gazette to commemorate the ending of the 2nd World War 50 years ago.

Many of the evacuated children did not enjoy the experience so they trickled back but Cherry-Anne’s family settled down and by 1949 had moved into Aylesbury. She was educated at Aylesbury Grammar School and after College came back to teach English at Queens Park Secondary. After 18 months the only French teacher in the School left and Cherry-Anne’s foreign language training came into its own. The whole school soon moved to new buildings and became The Grange. In 1958 Brian Evans joined the staff and before long they were married.

In the early 60’s Cherry-Anne left the Grange to have her first baby, Julie. Mr Newman, who had been the Deputy at the Grange School, became the Head Teacher at the John Colet School and soon found himself in need of a good French teacher. In 1963 Cherry-Anne found herself teaching there mornings only while her mother looked after the baby. In early 1967 the family moved to Wendover. Both Julie and her brother David attended the village schools and gradually Cherry-Anne became a full time teacher again.

During her time at the Colet, Cherry-Anne witnessed many expansions. A new library block was built and then a science block. She also changed area again and concentrated on pupils with special educational needs as well as helping with English and Humanities eventually returning to French. By 1993 the whole school was being rebuilt and Cherry-Anne and Brian felt it was time to retire.

Since coming to Wendover, Cherry-Anne has always been a member of the St Anne’s Section of the Catholic Women’s League. She is currently Chairman, not for the first time. As well as annual fund raising for CAFOD (Catholic Fund for Overseas Development), they are supporting Father Eamon (Sacred Heart Fathers) to help rebuild war torn Mozambique.

1979 Cherry-Anne was a well-established member of Wendover Choral Society. A neighbour mentioned that Halton Singers were in need of contralto lead singers and took her to the audition which resulted in the part of Ruth in Pirates of Penzance. She has never looked back, starring in many shows, sometimes producing as well as singing and doing three year stints as Chairman. They produce a staged show every Autumn and Spring and rehearse throughout the year in readiness for concert performances in between times.

Halton Singers started twinning with Liffre’s Echo de la Foret in 1983 and most years there is an exchange. In 1993 Cherry-Anne was Chairman and she used all her organisational skills, coordinating with Wendover Twinning Association and any other friendly face who would accommodate the fifty French Liffreans. This experience was also useful during the 1994 Wendover Churches exchange.

When the Colet Hall was demolished, Halton Singers took refuge in Wendover Memorial Hall but in April Cherry-Anne will be treading the boards in the new hall with a new departure – a revue rather than a story show – “Happy as a Sandbag” to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the end of the war.