My name is Malcolm Trowbridge, an Old Boy of Loughton School, and this is my story:

I left Loughton School in December 1960 and began work on 1st January 1961 (not a bank holiday in those days). I started my new duties at the Grosvenor Estates, the Duke of Westminster’s London office, one of the wealthiest landlords in the country and remained in the real estate profession until 1982-but more of the later!

Before clubs, wine bars etc. one of the main organisations to join was the then Young Conservatives. That was the way to meet people, so every Tuesday evening in a hall in Chigwell we met before adjourning to the Bald Hind public house. for the remainder of the evening. It was, of course, a way of meeting not only male friends but also members of the opposite sex; the main reason why 95 per cent of the people attending went in the first place.

Politics at this stage was not important to me, but my grandfather used to say “Leaders are born not made” so it wasn’t long before I was press-ganged into duty, firstly as a Programme Secretary, then as Vice-Chairman and eventually branch Chairman. This led me to meet David & Valerie Metcalfe, who were later to play a very important part at a crossroads in my life.

When I had finished my stint as branch chairman I went on to become constituency chairman of Chigwell & Ongar YC’s and because of the boundary changes I was appointed the first constituency Chairman of the newly formed Epping YC’s

In 1970 I was elected a councillor for the Chigwell & Grange Hill ward and served on the then Chigwell Urban District Council for three years, representing the people of those wards and serving on various committees- a time I greatly enjoyed.

During 1971 I met Sheila, who was not a YC and in November 1972 we got married and we are celebrating our 48th wedding anniversary this year. When we married, which was all quite sudden for those days, there were a lot of people who thought that Sheila must be pregnant, but it was not until 1978 that our eldest son, Christopher, was born, followed in 1980 by our youngest son, Steven;

two young men that we are extremely proud of.

During 1972 David & Valerie Metcalfe had founded a small but efficient printing company, and in 1982 they asked me if I would like to join them with a view to expanding the business. I decided that this late change in direction, now at 38 years of age, was just what I needed and in 1984 I was appointed Sales Director.

It was certainly the correct move and in March 2009 I retired after 27 years’ service. I had seen many changes with the industry during this time, but still, from time to time, I continue to assist them with the odd day or so of work which helps keep me active.