Tribute: Mary Mogford
Mary Pheby was born in Deal, Kent on 5 May 1935. Her father worked for the National Provincial Bank and was appointed Bank Manager for Wendover so she moved here age 9. She attended the Farm School, Wendover Dean, opposite the then blacksmith. The family lived in the lovely Brook House in Tring Road, now developed as 3 dwellings. She was madly keen on horses, particularly jumping horses, and even as a school girl was sought after to jump for other owners of horses at national and international events at Haringey and White City.
In 1952, Tony Mogford took over the tenancy of Bank Farm just across Hale Road from Brook House. A year later Mary’s father was posted to Chesham so the family moved. In 1954, when Mary was only 19, they married in St Mary’s, Wendover. In quick succession, Jacky and Edward arrived. Tony and Mary were married for 65 years. Mary loved her home, her family, her flower garden, her huge vegetable garden and, of course, her hunter.
She was often seen immaculately turned out hacking up the High Street with Dr McConnell, one of our two local GPs. She liked the thrill of the hunt but was not beyond helping a wily fox escape the hounds, until one polished off all of her son’s chickens.
She was naturally very shy but her parents had been very community minded so when her Tone started work for Wendover she made an enormous effort. To raise money for the Wendover Swimming Pool she ran the Wendover Horse Show and Gymkhana for many years. She also supported Ladies vs Wendover Mens Football Club, Nomads, the Bowls Club and many other activities.
As a farmer’s wife, Mary became an integral part of the farm. Her part in lambing was invaluable every year; she became an intrepid tractor driver and even drove grain lorries through the streets of Wendover. For a long time she ran the chicken unit within the farm.
When Mary became ill, she went to Woodlands Park Care Home and was very happy there to the end of her days. She could not have been looked after better or with more love. She passed away on 10 February 2019. She is already greatly missed.