A tribute to the life and work of Brian Torode
To download ‘Cotswold Bruderhof’ by Richard Barton (2016) please press the link below:
HOWARD CHEYNEY 1914-2005
I am researching the life of Howard Cheney, who was quite a character even in old age, rejecting his family’s affluence before WW2 by joining the Cotswold Bruderhof community, living in Paraguay with them during the war years – also apparently travelling by train in the jungle. His grandson followed his route 4 years ago.
I later learned that although this episode was always painted in rosey colours as an adventure, after his death they came across a letter to his mother begging her help (a ticket I assume) to get him out of there.
He returned and after the war reluctantly inherited the family business in Birminghamham (Ubiquitous Cheney Locks – remember the clasps on old Luggage) but could not settle. He sold the business and bought a farm on the un-spoilt Warwickshire/Oxford border. By then he was a Humanist, and remained a committed environmentalist and pacifist for the rest of his life. He was an active and lifelong campaigner for CND/peace movements from the outset.
Howard, son of an successful industrialist, became a committed Green Party member who would certainly wish to be remembered for his Peace campaigning around the country. He was self effacing, inspite of being one of the original Committee of 100 and willing to stand his ground on principle and obviously held in high esteem in those circles.
I only met him a few times but his presence and principle in farm matters ie dedication to “radical self sufficiency” around the farm prevailed in collective decision making (with his 2 sons). Howard and Margaret lived almost spartanly but not through lack of funds as you will see from the extract below below.. If they needed to buy a combine harvester they would.
https://peacenews.info/node/5653/howard-cheney-1914-2005 – Obituary
https://www.marxists.org/history/etol/newspape/theweek/The%20Week%20v2%20no4.pdf – Activist
His wonderfully named maternal grandmother, Arminel Bounsall, was a Nonconformist and this tradition may have fed his search for a more pure lifestyle.
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