Local Faces: Ray and Norma Randell

It is good to know in this Valentine month that romance can survive. Back in 1951 an RAF Corporal wanted to marry a Wendover girl in the middle of the first Suez crisis. His wish was fulfilled when he flew in from the Egyptian Canal Zone for the wedding at St Mary’s.

Over forty years later Ray and Norma Randell are most famous in Wendover for their devotion to the Royal British Legion.

The Royal British Legion Women’s Section has benefited from Norma’s support for over 35 years. She was the Wendover Branch Standard Bearer 18 years, ten of which she was the County Standard Bearer. She has been Wendover Branch Chairman for 14 years.

The RBLWomen’s Section Benevolent Fund looks after people with temporary illnesses in addition to the well known cause of widows and orphans. The major event of the year is the May Fair held in Wendover Memorial Hall. The women raise over 60% of the Poppy Appeal local total and are always grateful for the generous support of those who give. The women’s section holds monthly meetings usually on the evening of the third Monday of the month in the Agnew Hall, Royal British Legion, Chiltern Road. New members are always welcome. Nora appeared on the Queens Birthday Honours list and on 17th June 1989 she received the AOC Commendation Certificate.

Ray was born in Leicester and joined the RAF to train as a cook and see the world. However once he had been sent to Wendover he said he had never seen anywhere prettier and so here he has stayed.

After his Honourable discharge from the RAF in 1954 Ray became thoroughly absorbed in Royal British Legion work. He had become an Honorary member back in 1950 and by 1971 was elected to the Branch Committee representing them as Branch Standard Bearer. Since 1976 he has been running the Standard Bearers Training SchooL As well as branch work he quickly moved into Chiltern Group and County work for which he was awarded the County Certificate of Appreciation in 1974 and 1981.

Ray became a poppy collector in 1970 and naturally couldn’t resist becoming thoroughly involved. Since 1976 he bas been a member of the Festival of Remembrance Committee and it was only ill health that caused him to resign from his position as Branch Poppy Appeal Organiser in 1991.

He was awarded the Gold Badge in 1982 and admitted to life membership on 12th December 1987. His wealth of experience allows him to continue to be a Branch Delegate to both Area and National Conferences.

When Ray retired he joined the WRVS and started helping with the teas at Aylesbury Prison on Wednesday afternoons. Before long Norma also retired and she was able to join and help Ray. Soon they also decided to work on Saturday and Sunday afternoons when required.

Ray and Norma Randell are well known for their big hearted approach to life. We wish you a very happy Valentine’s Day.