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Mike Porter

mikeporter0227 May 1935 – 27 April 2019

When Mike and I were living in Ripon, North Yorkshire in the early 1980s, he was posted to RAF Brize Norton, and for many months he commuted, driving down the A361 early on Monday mornings.  One weekend he came home and announced, “I have found the place where I want us to live.” And that was Shipton under Wychwood.

Mike was born and raised in Reading, went to Christ’s Hospital School, Sussex in 1945 and joined the RAF College at Cranwell in 1953.  During his career he flew as many as 15 different aircraft, from Chipmunks to VC10s – including Venoms, Meteors and Canberras. His only overseas posting was a short spell in Aden.  He finished his service on the VC10, flying as specialist aircrew out of Brize Norton. Amongst his many trips he flew Prince Charles to Papua New Guinea, and returned Terry Waite to the UK from imprisonment in Beirut.  For 34 years he was stationed all over the UK, moving on average every two years.

Throughout his school life and RAF career Mike played sport to a high level, both cricket and rugby; and he always claimed he had given up a promising career in boxing!  He went on to play golf at Chipping Norton but he never quite mastered control of the little white ball! Mike was an avid and enthusiastic supporter of Reading Football Club.  It was a huge disappointment that they never stayed in the Premier League.

We moved to Shipton in 1982; with three daughters, the youngest Claire attended St Mary’s Primary School – by the church – and then all three went to Burford School.  He was a good family man, and loved spending time with our children and grandchildren, BBQs especially, and usually with a glass of red to hand. We recently spent a wonderful weekend in Hay-on- Wye ‘glamping’ with 22 family members.  He was incredibly proud of the academic and sporting achievements of his ten grandchildren.

After he left the Royal Air Force in 1992, Mike worked at St Hugh’s College in Oxford, the Shaven Crown pub and was involved with the Wychwood Magazine from the 1990s through to 2015 as Advertising Manager and latterly Treasurer.  He enjoyed running the bar at Shipton Cricket Club for several years.

He was out most days walking with a dog – a succession of rescue collies, some more mad than others.  Mike loved living in the friendly village and community that he had commuted through many years earlier.

There will be a short service to celebrate Mike’s life at St Mary’s Church, Shipton on Tuesday 27th August at 13:00 and afterwards at New Beaconsfield Hall to which everyone is invited.

August-September 2019