Page18 - Malcolm Ellis - an appreciation, Cricket here to stay

Malcolm Ellis - an appreciation

It is with great sadness that we have to record the passing of Malcolm Ellis on 20th November last year after a long illness.

Way back in 1970 when his father, John Ellis, became chairman of our Association, Malcolm worked tirelessly assisting him. In his official role as secretary he typed every page of the Newsletter on an old typewriter, got the pages to the printer, proof read every page and then distributed the finished article to all the road representatives - stewards as they were then called.

Trained as journalist He was bom in 1931 in Mill Hill where he attended the local prep school before going on to University College School, Hampstead. Although he originally trained as a joumalist and became production manager for an advertising agency, his final career was with Northern Assurance (later part of Commercial Union) where he stayed for the next 34 years.

His national service was spent with the King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery where, true to form, he was involved with the preparation for King George Vl's funeral. He was proud to retain his army links for many years. With his parents he moved to Chorleywood in 1952 and, already active politically, it was about this timc he became vice-chairman of thc East of England Young Conscrvatives.

His scrvicc to thc local community goes back to 1961 whcn he was elected to the then Chorleywood Urban District Council and dedicated himself to the preservation of what he called 'this unusually verdant and attractive place'. In this capacity he became chairman of the civil defence committee when Chorleywood House, then the council headquarters, contained a 'secret' under-ground war room. 

Many roles 

A man of many roles he was also chairman of its public health committee and then highways. Ever vigilant he was right at the centre of the battle to combat a scheme for a greater Watford which would have absorbed Chorleywood thereby losing our independence. ln 1975 when the urban district council ceased to exist he became a parish councillor and carried on his endeavours to preserve everything that was good in Chorleywood so that it could continue to be what he rightly considered one of the most desirable places in which to live. He also served his time as its chairman.

Elected to TRDC 

In May 2000 he was thrilled to become a councillor for the Three Rivers District Council. I was present when his election was announced and I had never seen him more happy. His one regret that his father was not there to see him elected. Although this increased his work load he still retained his position as a parish councillor. He worked tirelessly. He didn't drive a car and I recall him trudging round daily for hours canvassing at election times and distributing campaign leaflets. I wonder if he called at your house.

He had a great sense of history and was an avid reader on the subject. His knowledge of events was encyclopaedic and his memory of them remarkable. Indeed he was one of those people who seemed to remember everything. Chorleywood has lost a most valuable and dedicated citizen. And the loss is even greater for those who did not have the good fortune to meet him. I was one of the lucky ones who did have the privilege of knowing him. You could liken him to Chorleywood's own John Betjeman.

by Fay Caplin

Cricket here to stay

Charters and Caldicott, those two cricketing enthusiasts from 'The Lady Vanishes', the Hitchcock classic, would no doubt have been delighted to learn that cricket will continue on Chorleywood Common.

Agreement has been reached with TRDC's planning side and the cricket club that the pitch can be moved further away from the A404, subject to certain conditions. The parish council points out that the club can now apply for the necessary consents for the 'works on common land' from the planning inspectorate and the parish council. The council is, of course, landowner which represents the community.

All aspects of the project will be considered by an advisory committee. We are assured that there will be minimal impact on Chorleywood residents' rights of access and the common's ecological assets are protected and preserved. Most people consider that cricket has been a feature for so long it would be a tragedy to see it go.