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Former Marlow businessman celebrates 100th birthday

Former Marlow businessman celebrates 100th birthday

Former Marlow businessman and councillor Edwin 'John' Carvell has celebrated his 100th birthday with a message from the Queen and his favourite meal - steak and chips. 

John reached the milestone on April 20 and was joined at his son Bernard's house by some members of his family - socially distanced - most of whom he had not seen for more than a year. 

Born in Egham in 1921 as the third of six siblings, John and his family were bought up in Bedford by his widowed mother.

Winning a scholarship to Bedford School, family finances forced him to leave early, entering the world of work in 1937.

As a member of the Territorial Army (TA), he was called to fight in the Second World War in August 1939 and served for seven years throughout and after the battle. 

John married wife Joan in 1945 and the pair had two boys, eldest David and Bernard. The family moved to High Wycombe in 1954, with John taking up a position with local company, Floor Treatments.

This was later taken over by Reckitt and Coleman Industrial Division, and John was promoted to the board as first marketing then export director.

In 1963, the family moved to River Park Drive, Marlow, and John was instrumental in the forming of the Marlow Residents Association, winning a seat on the Marlow Council in 1969.

In 1978, the family purchased what became Carvells Newsagents and two years later, added Carvells Grocers, both in Station Road, Marlow, with Bisham Stores added soon after.

In 1989, John and wife Joan retired to Llantwit Major, in South Wales, where they had met in 1940.

Joan passed away in 1994 after 49 years of marriage and John returned to Marlow to be near his family where he has remained since.

He still lives independently in his flat supported by carers Bernard, and wife Diane, and enjoys his daily paper and sports.

He has three grandsons and five great-grandchildren, who along with his sons, all live locally.

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