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Page updated - 19 February 2005


Brenda Powell

Brenda believes that people do not have to slow down as they get older – just try something different. She took up pony trekking when she was 40, canoeing at 50 and celebrated her 60th birthday by riding pillion on a Harley Davidson motorbike!  Brenda is involved in so many activities one wonders at her energy. She was born in London but came to Little Cornard at the outbreak of the 2nd World War – her father’s family all came from Mount Bures and there are 500 years of gravestones with their family name on in the churchyard there.  Brenda remembers an idyllic childhood at Orchard House with her mother and younger sister – complete freedom to explore the surrounding countryside and even though there was no electric in the house and they went to bed by candlelight they never felt deprived.

Brenda started work in the civil service but became quite ill when she was 18 and did not fully recover until she was 25. She says this gave her the resolve to participate in all that life had to offer and she has not changed her ideas about that. She married Norman in 1960 and has two children, Nicholas and Vanessa and 6 grandchildren.

In 1973 the Cornard Playscheme started and Brenda was one of the original leaders. Like everyone else who was involved in that scheme she is sorry that it is no longer in existence as it gave local children a lot of pleasure for the two weeks it ran during the summer school holidays. She was also one of the first School Governors at the Middle School when it opened in 1974. Brenda worked as an Ancillary Classroom Helper/Nurse at Pot Kiln Primary School between 1970-1980 and then in 1980 helped start the Great Cornard Cub and Scout Group and was a leader until 1995.

Another of Brenda’s activities included working as a volunteer at the Sudbury Gateway Club for people with learning difficulties and she was eventually employed there as a leader. Brenda was also a relief worker at the Sudbury Resource Centre from 1992 - 2002. She still does voluntary work at the Gateway Club which includes going camping with groups of people.

Something that Brenda is pleased and proud of is that she gave evidence in Court to support the naming of Betty Cocker Grove when some of the residents wanted it changed. She composed a poem about it that she read in Court. The Court came out in favour of the name staying and when six months later Betty died unexpectedly, Brenda was glad that she, along with other people, had spoken out.

There are so many other activities that Brenda has been involved in that it would take another page to list them all but I think it can be safely said that Brenda’s resolve to enjoy life and not to waste her opportunities has been fully realised - to the benefit of all around her.

Interview by Joan Herbert (Cornard News) – 14 July 2004