Bill Chennells RIP


Bill was at Clayesmore from 1952 until 1956 after attending the Prep school at Charlton Marshall.  On leaving, he spent time at a law firm in London before joining Machins, his father’s practice, in Luton where he spent his entire working life until retiring as a Senior Partner.

Until his death, Bill was Chairman of the Spinney Memorial Trust, a position he had held since 2004.  During this time the Trust has distributed over £50,000 to over 100 Clayesmorians.  Fellow Trustee and friend David Fangen wrote “This stands proud as part of his legacy to his old school.  His input at all times was considered, kind and considerate.  His years of education from the Prep School and then onto the ‘Big School’ in Iwerne was all Clayesmorian and fed his enthusiasm for the school, its ethos and all things that were natured in the two Dorset villages of Charlton Marshall and Iwerne Minster”.

Childhood friend, Roger Ward described him as one of life’s genuine men.  Henry Dryden wrote “I had known Bill for almost my entire life. We were both born in Luton and both moved to Harpenden with our families in the 1950’s.  Although Bill was about six years older than me our lives followed an almost parallel path: Both began school at Moreton End in Harpenden and followed on to Clayesmore Prep School at Charlton Marshall and then the ‘big’ school at Iwerne Minster. His unwavering reliability, wisdom and counsel have been unmatched”.

Bill was a true stalwart and fabulous ambassador for Clayesmore and his efforts on the Spinney Trust have inspired pupils and helped them in their chosen path.  

Our deepest condolences go to his wife Anne and children Caroline, Clare and James.  A true Clayesmorian, kind, considerate and thoughtful.  He will be greatly missed.