Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Kenneth malcolm Hammant

KENNETH Malcolm Hammant, known to almost everyone as Malcolm, was the owner of the electrical store

KENNETH Malcolm Hammant, known to almost everyone as Malcolm, was the owner of the electrical store Hammants in Bell Street, Henley, for many years.

Born in Lower Assendon in 1933 to Bert and Dorothy Hammant, he attended Caxton House School in Henley and then in 1943 went as a boarder to Reading School, where he excelled in athletics in the junior school.

After overcoming a bout of polio, he played rugby and football successfully and enjoyed boxing and rowing in the senior school.

He also joined the Combined Cadet Force and developed a passion for target shooting, which he carried on in later years at Henley Trinity Hall Rifle Club.

After leaving school in 1950, Malcolm was articled at Spencer Ell & Co, chartered accountants in Bell Street, near the Bull public house.

Malcolm did his National Service at RAF Henlow in Bedfordshire, where he went on a radar course that would later lead him into the electrical trade. He had inherited his father’s passion for motorbikes so his journeys between RAF Henlow and his home in Henley were an enjoyable ride on a 1949 Triumph Tiger 100.

Malcolm also enjoyed competing in trial riding events using a BSA C II, which he and his father had adapted.

In 1953, he completed the 17th Sunbeam Pioneer Run from London to Brighton. His uncle Owen was driving while he was in the sidecar. He joined the family business in Bell Street in 1956 as a fully qualified TV and radio engineer and in 1964 became a partner in the Hammants shop, which was rapidly expanding into the TV rental business.

In the early Sixties, Malcolm joined Henley Trinity Hall Rifle Club where he later met his future wife, Jenny (née Blandy). They married in 1966 at Checkendon Church and settled in St Andrew’s Road, Henley.

Both Malcolm and Jenny continued taking part in rifle competitions for many years, often both in the club’s  A team.

Malcolm’s four sons were all born in Henley at the Townlands maternity unit.

Moving to a house in Henley with a large wild garden was an exciting time for the boys, as were the camping and sailing holidays in south-west Wales and being taught by Malcolm to catch enough fish for supper every night.

In 1984, Malcolm became the sole proprietor of Hammants, eventually retiring in 1995.

In his later years, he became ill with Parkinson’s, which he bravely fought for a long time.

The last few years of Malcolm’s life were in the care of the wonderful staff at the Acacia Lodge care home in Henley where he peacefully passed away with his wife and family around him.

He was especially a very caring grandfather to his seven grandchildren and will be sorely missed.

The funeral service will be held at St Mary’s Church, Henley, on Monday, July 6 at 1pm.

Family flowers only. Donations, if desired, to Parkinson’s UK, c/o Tomalin & Son, 38 Reading Road, Henley, RG9 1AG.

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