John Maddox Morgan-Owen (1931-99)
John Maddox Morgan-Owen was born on Friday, 26 June 1931, at Stanleigh House, Donisthorpe, Leicestershire. He was educated at St Wynston’s Repton, Mickleover Manor (from which he ran away) and Packwood Haugh in Shropshire, before going to Shrewsbury School. His father felt Shrewsbury was a less insular school than was Repton where he taught; John agreed with this view when he later became a Governor of Repton.
He trained as a quantity surveyor, serving his apprenticeship with Ford and Western in Derby. He was a member of the Derbyshire Yeomanry (1949-1952) and of 24 Regiment of Foot S Wales Borderers (1952-1955); he was with the Borderers in Germany on his National Service. Afterwards he worked in London for Pilkington Glass. He became an insurance consultant and a General Commissioner of Income Tax (1972–1998), arbitrating between the Inland Revenue and the public in assessment disputes.
John was a Governor of Chellaston School and, like his father, a Governor of Repton. Over the
years he served on many committees including those for various charitable foundations. His offices included Chairman of the East Midlands Museum Service
and President of the East Midlands branch of the Royal British Legion. He was particularly interested in planning and
conservation and had helped to found and became Vice Chairman of the Derbyshire Historic Building Trust. This undertook many large and costly projects – the stained glass in the swimming baths at Buxton nearly ruined the Trust – but
his favourite was the railway cottages in Derby. The Trust saved more than one hundred classic Victorian railway
cottages, which were restored as desirable homes and sold at a profit to occupants proud of their historic
If any of them decided to paint their front door yellow instead of LMS colours, the neighbours would be up
in arms, John said in an interview.