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John Chaplin

Page updated - 30 August 2009


John and his brother Raymond Chaplin were both born in Great Cornard five years apart. Ray was born in a small cottage in Phillips Field Road and then John in a house on the corner called in those days St. Johns Villa, the sons of a local coal merchant who had his coal yard in the same road.




Both John and Ray attended the Old School when Lionel Hurst was headmaster and John remembers having to write out 100 lines at home for some misdemeanour. Unknown to him, Ray had written on the back of the lines 'please return paper as we are a bit short'. John got another reprimand when his teacher turned the page over and read what was written. The first job John had on leaving school was with the Derisley Garage which stood where Somerfield is now. Where the car park is there were allotments that were tended by Mr Derisley's mother. John then went to Arlingtons garage in Cornard Road. After the war he went on a training scheme run by Vauxhall at Arlington Garage and was awarded a diploma.  Many people remember what an excellent storeman he was and knew exactly where to lay his hands on any vehicle part they needed.


John met his wife Pearl at the Badminton Club run by the Modern Secondary School in Sudbury which John had attended - it only allowed ex pupils to join. They were married in 1960 at St Andrews Church and moved to Acton Lane in Sudbury. Pearl and John were overjoyed when their son Ashley was born in 1977. He was a beautiful child but very sadly died of cancer when he was almost 7 years old. John retired in 1992 but found himself busier than ever. He did voluntary work at the St Christopher Centre for 17 years.  He has done work for Age Concern, the Befriending Service and Meals on Wheels. All in all he worked for 16 different charities and is now helping one day a week at the St. Nicholas Hospice Ship. He says that he wants to give something back to the community. John has written a book on the Sudbury Town Football Club 1885-1999 which took some years as had to go all over the place including London to do the research. He still does some research work in football.


John and his brother Ray  are both unassuming and hard working brothers who have lived their lives trying to help others. The community would be a poorer place without them and Cornard is lucky they have chosen to live here. 



Interview by Joan Herbert Cornard News - 7 August 2009