A good woman

Or perhaps just a good person?

After having three children of their own, she and John began fostering children in 1973, later adopting two boys.
Alex found her true calling, not only as a mother to the children in her care, but as an adviser to fellow foster parents and a source of support to families whose children had been restored to them after a spell in temporary care.
After John Timpson’s father, Anthony, was ousted from the family business by his uncle Geoffrey, and the company sold to United Drapery Stores, then Hanson Trust, it was Alex who persuaded her husband to attempt a management buy-out and supported him as he led the negotiations to a successful conclusion in 1983.
Her concern for the less fortunate became the foundation on which her husband developed his company. Among other things he adopted a policy of hiring ex-offenders, taking their reoffending rate down from a national average of 62 per cent within a year of release to less than five per cent over 12 years. Another scheme was to make one of its employee’s dreams come true each month – recently a staff member travelled to Barbados to be reunited with a father she had not seen for 13 years.

31 foster children apparently.

Vale.

13 thoughts on “A good woman”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    her husband John, a longstanding Daily Telegraph columnist and chairman of the family firm of cobblers and key-cutters …. Among other things he adopted a policy of hiring ex-offenders, taking their reoffending rate down from a national average of 62 per cent within a year of release to less than five per cent over 12 years.

    That is a lot of old cobblers. But key-cutters? Not exactly the ideal employment for ex-offenders. As it suggests another explanation for those low figures – they just got a lot better at stealing stuff. Once they learned how to open doors without breaking things.

    Also I am not sure what the claim is they are making. That they can take a random sample of ex-offenders and after 12 years only 5% of them have re-offended? I kind of doubt that.

    But a good woman by the sounds of it. The sort of person Britain relies on to make everyone’s life better.

  2. It’s not a random sample though. The sample was first self-selected in terms of applicants, then selected again by the interview process.

    Still, good on them for hiring ex-offenders.

  3. Key cutting is not locksmithing.
    True, but access to a key-cutting machine is all that is required to open most doors (a phonecam snap of the lock is enough, according to reports I’ve seen) . Of course, you can buy them on eBay for a couple of hundred quid.

  4. I could not foster children, but I have huge admiration for those who do. I once knew a woman and her husband, a plumber, who fostered difficult children. She worked in a care home part-time while also fostering these children and bringing up her own son and daughter. Quite extraordinary. People like her help make society civilised. Salt of the earth.

  5. So Much For Subtlety

    After John Timpson’s father, Anthony, was ousted from the family business by his uncle Geoffrey, and the company sold to United Drapery Stores, then Hanson Trust, it was Alex who persuaded her husband to attempt a management buy-out and supported him as he led the negotiations to a successful conclusion in 1983.

    Who else thinks that must be an interesting story? Perhaps an interesting film? A sort of feel-good British Other People’s Money?

  6. My own cousin and her husband have adopted around 15 disabled children over the past 25 or so years, from Downs syndrome to severely brain damaged and cerebral palsy. Two completely selfless individuals who never cease to amaze me – their contention is that the State could not give these children the level of care they need so have taken it on themselves to provide it. This in addition to bringing up 4 of their own children.

    They were both rewarded with MBEs in last years honours list.

  7. Crun,
    Blimey, good for them. But, “completely selfless”? I don’t think we can say that without further particulars; the disabilities you describe are challenging to be sure, but …..

    I’d like to see them take on some entitled whiners of the Laura Penny type and see how they fare then. Their home must, by necessity, be a bullshit-free zone. Can it endure?

    Virtue is its own reward, but de-whinging just one Penny-of-the-future would entitle them to more honours than they could reasonably carry.

  8. Just love the photo of her with three babies in the back (meaning the luggage-space, not the seats!) of her estate car – just lying in their carry-cots being happy.

    Those were the days, eh?

    I wonder if SS will now arrest her husband for historical baby-endangerment?

    She sounds like quite a lady – R.I.P.

  9. HC

    “My own cousin and her husband have adopted around 15 disabled children over the past 25 or so years, from Downs syndrome to severely brain damaged and cerebral palsy. Two completely selfless individuals who never cease to amaze me.”

    Extraordinary. The humility of such folk is often remarkable.

  10. @Chris Miller

    “Key cutting is not locksmithing.
    True, but access to a key-cutting machine is all that is required to open most doors (a phonecam snap of the lock is enough, according to reports I’ve seen) . Of course, you can buy them on eBay for a couple of hundred quid.”

    Really? I’ve been picking locks for years: whilst a ten quid set of Southam lockpicks can get you past most tales and padlocks, I’m stumped as to how a snap of the keyhole (I think that’s what you are saying) can help.

    Using the flashlight on a phone doesn’t even illuminate the back of the key channel, yet alone give you a chance to judge the height of the pins. I just cannot see how a snap would give you anything except the cross section of the key- which is a hell of a lot less useful than the pin/break heights

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *