Local Faces: Manni & Bindoo Vashani
Bindoo (Prajapati) came to Aylesbury at the tender age of 6 months in 1969, having been born in Mombassa, Kenya. She was one of the last pupils to pass through Queens Park Infant School before moving on to William Harding for Junior School and then The Grange. At Aylesbury College, Bindoo spent two years studying for a BTech diploma in Computer Studies which led to a job at Target. It was good to use those skills even though the world of computing has changed out of all recognition since then!
Bindoo’s family came from Gujarat in India so they would go back from time to time and on one such visit, Bindoo met a friend of the family, Manni Vashani, and the rest, as they say, is history. Manni had grandparents on his mother’s side who lived in Aylesbury so he moved here.
Manni’s family history also included East Africa but his family had moved to Uganda. By 1964 that country was becoming insecure so they returned to Gujarat. The rest of that family returned in the 1970s and most moved rapidly to Aylesbury because it was a place with good employment prospects in all the local light industry. Manni’s parents remained in India where his father was a language teacher in a local school and his mother taught cooking and sewing in her spare time. When Manni came to Aylesbury he worked in GST.
After 7 years at Target, Bindoo was made redundant but an opportunity arose in Cheltenham so they moved. After 5 years, Bindoo and Manni moved back to Aylesbury where they took over a family business in Quarrendon which they ran for 12 years. They decided that they needed a break so they leased it out, to spend more time with their children. On 15 February 2014, Manni couldn’t resist starting the Premier Stores in Princess Mary Gate. This led to them rescuing Halton Post Office, which had been threatened with closure, in February 2017. The Post Office is now Bindoo’s domain, with other staff. Their customers were very relieved as they come from far and wide but wonder about the future of their RAF building. Manni and Bindoo have always adapted to change.
Their son, Rishi, has grown up and qualified as an economist. He’s moved away and is now engaged to a Dutch lady named Dieuw, who is a sustainable architectural engineer. Their daughter, Monika, a graduate in Geography, has just started work locally as a Planning Officer. She has been supporting local charity, WRAP, which is running a sponsored cycle ride on Saturday 8 February.