John Penfold Obituary

John Penfold, my father, passed away at the age of 89. He devoted over 30 years to training teachers in craft, design, and technology after initially teaching the subject at secondary schools. Born to Edwin, an accountant, and Alice (nee Rogers) in Edgware, North London, he attended Orange Hill grammar school in Burnt Oak before enrolling in Shoreditch teacher training college in East London. John specialized in design and woodwork teaching and served two years of national service in the army, where he achieved the highest national level in boxing. Later on, he taught at a senior school in Harrow before joining Christ’s Hospital School in Horsham, West Sussex, eventually becoming friend’s with Sir Barns Wallis, of bouncing bomb fame. He resided in Windsor, Berkshire with his wife, Eileen (nee Robinson), whom he married in 1955. In Surrey, John returned to Shoreditch college, achieving the position of senior lecturer, and preparing undergraduates to become teachers in cabinet making and woodwork. With Marge Smalley, his fellow colleague, John negotiated the college’s merger with Brunel University in the 1980s, and together, they embarked on a recruitment drive to attract young women into teaching STEM subjects. He earned his degree in economics and later a Master’s degree in education’s role in manual subjects, which paved the way for him to publish a book, Craft, Design, and Technology: Past, Present, and Future (1988). John took early retirement from Brunel at the age of 50, becoming a consultant to universities and colleges in the south-east of England. John even worked for UNESCO, training teachers in Indonesia and Malta. John’s devotion to his craft did not end despite retirement, and he even taught furniture design to students at The University of The Third Age from 2015. An active member of the community of Windsor, John served as an independent Councillor from 2003 until 2015. Beyond being a family man, he was a welcoming host, a loyal friend, and an eager storyteller- known to be humorous and considerate. John outlived his wife, Eileen, and is survived by his children, Julian and me, and his grandchildren, Tom, Fabienne, Leo, Jack, Joe, Morris, and Olivia. His daughter, Helen, passed away in 2000.


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    Axel Lancaster is a 53-year-old blogger who specializes in education-related topics. He has been blogging for over a decade and has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with his readers. Axel is a highly respected authority on the subject of education and is regularly quoted in the media. He is also a sought-after speaker and has given presentations at numerous conferences and events.