AUDCENT (1939- )
Anthony Edward Audcent was born at around 6.30 am on the 2nd March 1939 at Bristol Maternity Home, the son, one of twins (the other David being born at 9.55am), of Jacques Louis Alexis Audcent and his wife Sylvia Constance Peat. He was baptised on the 29th April 1939, by Canon Patrick Long at the Church of the twelve Apostles (Pro-Cathedral), Clifton, Bristol having for Godparents, his paternal uncle Gerard Arthur Joseph Audcent, and Mrs. Gertrude Beatrice Mary Dyment, a friend of the family.
His mother and father decided that for the safety of their children, they should move from Bristol, where the docks were being heavily bombed, and they moved the family to Charlton Road, Shepton Mallet. Tony's first School was for a short period at St. Saviours Convent School in that town. Shortly after, the family moved back to "Corazon", 3 Clifton Wood Road, Bristol, and he continued his education at Park Place RC primary school, Clifton. He won an internal scholarship to St. Brendans College, then situated at Berkeley Square, Clifton, the local Roman Catholic Grammar School. Unfortunately, due to a mistake made by the clerical staff at the school, the family did not learn this until the commencement of the Term. The following year at the age of 12 he joined the Scout Movement, being based at the Troop run by St. Mary's on the Quay. He also served as an altar boy at the Pro-Cathedral. During his time at St Brendan's he joined the Combined Cadet Force in the Army section, in which he attained the rank of Corporal. Tony was to leave the College at the age of 15 with 2 'O' Levels Maths and Art. After leaving St.Brendan's College, he joined the Royal Artillery Cadet Force with the rank of Corporal but had to resign within a couple of months due to work commitments.
His father then arranged for his apprenticeship to Telefield Aerials as a trainee TV Engineer. In the year 1957-58 he attended the College of Technology, Bristol, Department of Electrical Engineering, where he studied Course D.RS3. Electrical Engineering (his employer being D Chipperfield), Radio Theory and Radio Servicing Practice, and passed the Course. He remained for just two years, before by special dispensation of the Radio and Television Retail Association, it was agreed that his apprenticeship could be transferred to the responsibility of his father.
In 1958 Tony, at the age of nineteen, together with his brother David, attended a Boxing Day dance held at the Grand Hotel, Bristol. It was at this dance that he met his future wife Valerie who was at that time a teacher in Birmingham, having returned home to Bristol for the Christmas holidays. Eighteen months later they became engaged to be married.
Around 1960 he became a cub-master in the Scout movement, assisted by his fiancee, Valerie, running a pack at the Roman Catholic Pro-Cathedral, Clifton, Bristol, up and just until before his marriage in August 1961.
Tony gained his FINAL certificate of Television Servicing (1960) and in the same year became a founder member of the Society of Electronic and Radio Technicians (MSERT) also a graduate member of Incorporated Practitioners in Radio and Electronics (Grad IPRE), and a member of the then Television Society. He was appointed to the post of Secretary of the Bristol branch of this latter Society, and during his period of office, the Society received its Royal Patronage and became known as "The Royal Television Society".
In that same year he took up the post of Field service Engineer with Radio Rentals, a national Radio and Television Rental Chain, at their branch in the centre of Bristol. As a result of company changes, he transferred initially to the Bedminster branch of Radio Rentals and was later moved to their more local branch at Weston-super-Mare which enabled him to be near his home in Cheddar. During this period the development and sales of Colour Televisions was introduced and he became responsible for their introduction and installation of these early colour televisions throughout Somerset for Radio Rentals.
Before he married he decided with Valerie that they would bring the children up with her faith that being Church of England. On the 12th August 1961, at St. Peters Church (CE), Bishopsworth, Bristol, he married Valerie Ann King, the daughter of Alfred George King and Ethel Ellen Raines. His brother David was his best man and Rosemary Robertson was Valeries sole bridesmaid, being her best friend from her student days, the reception being held in the Church hall. Of their marriage there was issue of three children:- Geoffrey David (1962), Katherine Anne (1965), and Elizabeth Louise (1968).
Having married they moved immediately to their newly built house at 10 St. Andrews Road, Cheddar. where they were to live until Valerie's death on 13th February 1993.
As his children grew up he became actively involved in social activities pertaining to his childrens' interests. He became Treasurer of both the junior and middle county school Parent Teachers Associations in Cheddar .When his son Geoffrey became old enough to join the Cub Scouts, he became an assistant cub scout leader with the Cheddar Scout Group, later becoming Akela (Cub Scout Leader running the Powell Pack). Following his period as Leader, whilst he left the uniformed section, he maintained his links with the Scouts and became Group Chairman, involved in particular with fund raising to build a new Scout hut in Cheddar. The result was the construction of a new fine brick built building which was eventually completed on part of the site of the Cheddar first school playing fields. For several years he was a member of the Scout District Executive Council in Sedgemoor. Later he was appointed a Trustee of the Cheddar Scout Group.
After 15 years service with Radio Rentals, he became more and more disillusioned with the company, due to take-overs, and decided to find a more challenging career. He applied for and was offered a position as a technician in the Home Office, under the Directorate of Telecommunications. He accepted the position and was posted to Shapwick, near Street, Somerset. As a Technical Officer he soon became an established civil servant travelling widely in the seven south-west counties of England. His work was interesting and varied, involving installation, commission, and maintenance of Radio communications schemes mainly for the emergency services. In 1976 he became a Radio Amateur & obtained his 'A' Licence, a full licence allowing him to broadcast throughout the world and remains a continuing hobby.
On the registration of Technicians into the Institute of Chartered Engineers he was elected a Technician Member of the Institute of Chartered Engineers, a status only allowed to existing technicians at that particular date.
He joined the twinning society in Cheddar "The Cheddar Felsberg Friendship Club" and was appointed as Treasurer a position he still holds in (1997).
His wife Valerie fell ill with cancer in early 1991 and her disease and deterioration in health placed a great strain on them both. In the event Tony suffered a small heart attack in August 1992.
With his type of work, often on call, and in order to give of his best to his wife, he finally decided to request early retirement from his post. At that time various Government bodies were being reduced in size with the intention of either saving public expenditure or preparing divisions of the civil service for prospective privatisation. Relunctantly the Department granted his early retirement from the Home Office in December 1992. and he was given full pension rights.
His wife lived for only two months more, for she died at St Peter's Hospice in Bristol, on the 13th February 1993 after having fought the cancer bravely over the two years. She was cremated at Worle on the 18th following and her funeral service was held on the 27th March 1993 in the local St. Andrew's Parish Church and a simple stone engraved just "Valerie Ann Audcent (1938-1993)" marks the place where her ashes were interred in the churchyard.
Left on his own, but reasonably well off, having been granted a good pension, plus a redundancy sum, a share of his wife's pension (for which a cash settlement was agreed in lieu), and as the only Legatee of his wife, who had only inherited her share of the estate of her father, shortly before her death. He carried out her wishes and apportioned his father-in-laws estate in four equal parts with his three children.
Left alone, after 18 months had passed, he decided to take a more active part in local events and to start to socially meet with other people once again. He joined The University of the third Age taking part in various activities and in July 1994 joined 'SOLO' a dancing club for single people where he met Mrs Margaret 'Dympna' Norley (nee Corley) formerly of Smithborough, County Monaghan, Ireland, but then living in Axbridge. Dympna was qualified as an RGN, SCM, holding the post of a Midwifery Sister (G Grade), with three sons of her own, Mark Colin (1969), David Philip (1970) and Matthew Ronald (1975). They became engaged to be married in October 1994, with the intention of being married a year later, after the marriage of his last daughter Elizabeth, which was planned for August 1995. Their marriage took place at Clifton Cathedral, Clifton Park, Bristol, on the 14th October 1995, in the presence of both his family and all the bride's brothers and sisters, excepting Frank who was unable to make it. Tony had for best man, an old family friend Bill York, and the Bridesmaids were Linda his wife's niece and Tony's grandaughter Emma. The occasion was memorable for the bridegrooms speech which lasted for 11 minutes and 17 seconds.
Following their marriage, both Tony and Dympna's houses were sold and they jointly purchased a new bungalow in Axbridge.
In 1997 he rejoined the Roman Catholic faith after some thirty five years.