Jack Chandler 1923 - 2007
Jack Chandler in his nursery in 1973. Ailesbury Way is to the left and Callow Croft to the right
Obituary; Gazette & Herald, 14th June 2007
"Jack Chandler, who ran the Conifer Cottage Nurseries from his Burbage Home for many years, has died at the age of 83.
"Mr Chandler had been in failing health for the last few months and he died in the Great Western Hospital in Swindon on Friday 8th June 2007.
"He leaves his three children, Steven, Susan and Sandra and four grandchildren.
"Mr Chandler was born in Burbage, just a few yards along the High Street from Conifer Cottage where he spent most of his life.
"His wife, Brenda, whom he married in 1947, died two years ago and their son said that Mr Chandler: "found the last two years very difficult."
"He was born on Christmas Eve in 1923, two years after his only sister, Jean, who survives him.
"Towards the end of the Second World War he served in the Fleet Air Arm.
"He served a plumbing apprenticeship with Whites of Pewsey and subsequently worked for many years as a plumber for the Crown Estate.
"Illness forced him to change jobs and he became a store man with Hosier Equipment for many years. He had always loved plants but even so surprised his wife when he announced he was quitting work to run his own nursery.
"Conifer Cottage Nurseries started from his own garden in 1970 and was a huge success until ill health and the recession forced Mr Chandler to retire.
"His garden centre specialised in dwarf conifers and Mr Chandler expanded into fish, especially koi carp, bonsai and Japanese gardens.
"He was entirely self-taught and gained much of his knowledge from books.
"He was devoted to his four grand children, Rachel, James, Russell and Jonathan.
"Mr Chandler was a keen village cricketer when Jonathan, then aged nine, asked him to coach him.
"Jonathan is now a serving officer with the Thames Valley police force and plays cricket for them and for Berkshire.
"One of Mr Chandler's proudest moments was catching the largest bream ever caught in the Kennet and Avon Canal, weighing in at 8lb 2oz. He appeared with it in the Angling Times.
"In his retirement he became fond of cooking for his family and friends and talking about the good old days with his lifelong friend Jim Hillier who was his best man."
© Gazette & Herald and Colin Younger 2007