A FORMER county councillor, who once sent a cow in the post, has died aged 85.

Bourne End farmer John Lunnon represented the Wooburn Parish between 1973 and 1985 and died in November.

Mr Lunnon made headlines around the world in 1955 after an announcement from the post office that it could send anything from "birds, bees, performing fleas or even a cow".

Mr Lunnon was challenged to send a cow by local author and Call My Bluff panellist Patrick Campbell.

This was arranged and with a uniformed post office telegraph boy accompanying, the cow was sent to Bracknell Market.

Television cameras were there filming the market and the story became world news after they discovered the cow had been posted.

Below is a tribute from his wife who lives at Well End Farm in Bourne End.

By Ann Lunnon:

FORMER county councillor and Bourne End farmer, John Lunnon, died at the aged of 85 in November.

John represented the Wooburn Parish on Buckinghamshire County Council between 1973 and 1985 and at one stage ran both Hollands Farm at one end of Bourne End and Well End Farm at the other.

He had a wide-range of interests and pursued them all with great vigour. Farming was first and foremost, but then whatever he took on, whether it was matters of council, raising funds for his church or any other of the myriad things with which he became involved he took them on equally enthusiastically.

John was born on April 28th, 1924 and brought up at Hollands Farm. He went to school in Oxford and joined the Royal Artillery in 1943. After the War, he returned to farming.

A keen oarsman, John joined Marlow Rowing Club in 1946 and helped stroke the Marlow Eight to victory at Walton Regatta and in the Thames Cup at Henley as well as having other successes. He later became vice-captain of the club. In 1950, John took over Well End Farm in Bourne End from Lord Carrington. He was also a member of the National Farmer’s Union and became chairman of the High Wycombe branch in 1954.

Prior to that, he was awarded a Nuffield Foundation Scholarship to study the more advanced methods of farming in the United States of America.

His reports were published in the Farmer’s Weekly magazine which helped to inform farmers at home.

In 1955, he married me, Ann, and continued farming with a pedigree herd of Guernsey cows and 120 acres at Well End Farm. During the next ten years we had two sons and a daughter.

Then, in 1965, both his and his father’s farms were merged. He gradually built up the dairy, beef and arable farms to about 650 acres and 120 milking cows.

In October, 1955, following the Postmaster General’s announcement that as a result of recent modernisation, the post office could now handle anything from ‘birds, bees, performing fleas or even a cow’, Patrick Campbell who lived locally [a Sunday Dispatch columnist, author and panellist on ‘Call My Bluff’], challenged John to post a cow.

This was arranged and with a uniformed post office telegraph boy accompanying, the cow was sent to Bracknell Market. However, co-incidentally, the new ITV cameras happened to be there filming the market. When they discovered that this cow had been posted, it was World News following which we had letters and newspaper cuttings from far corners of the Earth.

Patrick Campbell had lost his story for the following Sunday and he relates this in one of his books.

When he was 32, I introduced John to the Upper Thames Sailing Club in Bourne End because she thought he may be getting a little old for rowing.

He became harbour-master at a time when the Club was being refurbished. Latterly he built his own river day boat and he very much enjoyed taking people out in it. He loved the river and was never happier than when mucking about in boats.

In 1967 John was elected to the Wycombe Rural District Council as one of four Conservative members for the Parish of Wooburn. After being elected to the county council, he served as chairman of the county planning sub-committee for six years and was appointed to several other committees.

John was a founder member of the Bourne End & Cookham Rotary Club and dreamed up the charity sponsored walk, the ‘Great Rotation’, which is a lovely walk across the river and through the countryside in which people could be sponsored for their own charities.

It has raised many thousands of pounds over the years.

John was a long time member of the Little Marlow Conservative Association, becoming chairman twice in 25 years.

In the late eighties, John was responsible for negotiating the purchase of land at Spade Oak Wharf for the use of the public.

He was co-opted on to the Little Marlow Parish Council in 1993 and his long memory helped serve them well.

St Nicholas’ Church, Hedsor, was packed to capacity and overflowing with over 200 mourners for John’s funeral on November 12.

He leaves three children. Richard, 53, runs Hollands Farm, Jane, 51, is an architect and is in practice in Bourne End, and Rupert, 44, who suffers from MS and lives at Well End Farm with me.