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Former Maidenhead Civic Society chairman passes away

Staff reporter

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A former president of Maidenhead Civic Society who played a key role in the creation of the heritage centre and helped lay the foundations for town centre regeneration has died.

John McIntosh, who had only recently moved to Malvern from Maidenhead, passed away on Friday, July 7, aged 94.

He had been a member of the civic society, an independent lobby group which aims to preserve the best in Maidenhead, for 30 years and served on its planning group, which comments on new planning applications, for most of that time.

In 1999 he agreed to stand in temporarily as society chairman while another candidate was found, but the shoes fitted and he stayed in the post for nine years.

Subsequently, with the introduction of a new constitution, he became president in 2008. He stepped down in 2015 but remained a member of the society.

His achievements with the society were many, including playing a key role in the creation of Maidenhead Heritage Centre, for which he prepared the groundwork.

He was also the driving force behind the society’s Strategic Review of Maidenhead in 2004 which led directly to the formation of PRoM (the Partnership for the Rejuvenation of Maidenhead) and latterly to the town centre regeneration taking place today.

Current chairman Bob Dulson said: “Keeping an eye on the past while looking to the future is one of the civic society’s strengths. History and heritage inform our thinking. It’s enshrined in our motto: Preserve the best, improve the rest.

“John was someone who epitomised that principle and informed it with his unique insight.”

A meteorologist in North Africa during the Second World War, Mr McIntosh spoke several languages including Russian and Spanish and, after marrying his wife, Sylvia, took his new bride on a tour of Franco’s Spain in a motorbike and sidecar.

He went on to a career as a scientist in industrial research and development with major UK multinationals including ICI and Metal Box.

Sylvia died from cancer in the 1990s. Mr McIntosh was an accomplished pianist and the couple, who had no children, loved classical music, particularly opera. Mr McIntosh made donations to the upkeep of the gardens at Glyndebourne in Sylvia’s memory.

His nephew Neil Roberts said: “His fierce intellect, knowledge and ability to listen and clarify often complex issues into simple easily understood English was the envy of even the brightest people.”

He is also survived by two sisters who live in Scotland.

His funeral is expected to take place in Gloucestershire in early August.

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