Local Face: Vaughan Davies
Vaughan and his family moved to Wendover in 2000, but it was a return to old haunts. He first stepped onto the platform of Wendover Station in January 1964 to start a three-year Aircraft Apprenticeship at Royal Air Force Halton. The town’s pubs became the first port of call when given time off at the camp. Many have now gone or have transformed into something new, for example the Rose and Crown on the old Tring Road has now given way to housing and the Four Seasons Pub is now a curry house. Wendover’s new library was still on the drawing board.
It was a great start to life for those who passed through Halton. Vaughan joined the 106th Entry, the last of the original Aircraft Apprentice ‘Trenchard’s Brats’ entries, formed by Lord Trenchard after World War 1. Training as an Aircraft Electrical Fitter he will never forget ‘marching to work’ behind either a Pipe or Brass Band to and from the Workshops and Schools either side of Chestnut Avenue, crossing Main Point where traffic had to queue twice a day while hundreds of youths aged between 16 and 19 years had crossed. Ceremonial duties included route-lining in Whitehall on State Visits and marching in Sir Winston Churchill’s funeral in 1965. He fenced for Training Command, winning a Bronze Medal at the inter-services Royal Tournament.
Graduating in December 1966, he was posted to RAF Brize Norton, servicing VC10s. During his time there he studied for an HNC at Oxford Polytechnic (now Oxford Brookes Uni) and qualified in Applied Electronics, Digital Computers and Microwave Engineering. In 1973 he was posted to Scampton on photo reconnaissance Vulcans.
In 1974 Vaughan saw the first opportunities of the ‘digital age’ outside RAF life and joined Linotype-Paul, a phototypesetting systems company revolutionising the hot metal printing industry. Many installations during 1974 to 1976 took him to major newspaper and book publishing companies in Europe which led to a contract in Copenhagen, where he lived between 1976 and 1978.
Returning to England and settling in Chesham, he became a systems engineer at CASE communications. He then ‘crossed to the other side’ and joined the Sales and Marketing Department. A long association with data and telecommunications followed, integrating computers through a number of highly established communications companies, which have transformed the digital world as we know it today as the Internet and World Wide Web. He retired in 2010.
On 1 December 2012 Wendover’s library became one of a growing number to move to community library status, with professional library staff assisted by trained local volunteers. As a Freemason since 1992, Vaughan saw the opportunity ‘to put something back into the community’, training as a Counter Assistant along with about 30 others. He became a Trustee and one of the founder members of the Friends of Wendover Library (FOWL) and sought funding from Buckinghamshire Freemasons for the installation of an interactive touch-screen presentation facility in the Meeting Room. FOWL then funded a Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound System to form ‘On Screen’, which holds a very successful cinema experience open to everyone in the community on the third Friday of each month.
FOWL welcomed the opportunity to have the ‘Wendover Remembers’ wallhanging permanently displayed in the library and Vaughan worked with all contributors to oversee its final unveiling last year.
He manages IT issues including communications, membership subscriptions, library website, newsletter, as well as the yearly photo competition and leading to the annual calendar and helps at the ‘Learn My Way’ computer sessions on the first Tuesday of each month.
Married to Susan, his wife of 35 years, they have a son, Sam, a GP Partner in Gloucestershire and daughter Georgina, a mobile beauty therapist in Aylesbury who is expecting her second child in December. Their other two daughters, Kirsty and Sarah live in the USA and Canada respectively, and there will be 8 grandchildren by the end of 2017! Leisure pursuits include music, gym, astronomy and website design.