It is with great sadness that we report the death on 17th July 2018 of Digby Mackworth one of Boars Hill’s most distinguished residents who had lived amongst us since 1990.
Digby was born on 2 November 1945 the son of Sir David Mackworth Bt. and Mary Grylls. He succeeded to the baronetcy as the 10th Baronet Mackworth in 1998.
He was educated at Wellington College, Berkshire, and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Australian Army Aviation Corps and later served with the 28th Commonwealth Infantry Brigade in Malaya and Singapore. Notably he saw active service as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam.
Whilst in Malaya he met his future wife Antoinette. Following his marriage in 1971, he flew helicopters commercially firstly in Iran and, later, with British Airways Helicopters engaged in oil industry activities in the North Sea, India and China. In 1989 he re-trained with BA as an airline pilot and flew jets with BA for a further 10 years before transferring to a similar role with Easyjet.
Digby and Antoinette moved to Boars Hill in the 1990 and Digby soon started to play an active part in the community serving on the bench as a JP for Oxfordshire whilst still flying with BA. Digby joined the committee of the BHA in 1991 when, because his flying often took him away, he was co-opted jointly with Antoinette. In 2008 he became Treasurer, which role he relinquished in 2012 when he succeeded Sue Reynolds as Chairman. He held that post until 2016 when he sought a successor but continued until March 2018 in the role of Secretary. During Digby’s period as Chairman he and Antoinette hosted numerous successful BHA parties both in their house and garden.
Digby was a highly competent instinctive engineer. In retirement he kept a “mistress”; namely a 2nd world war Tiger Moth biplane and there will be many on the Hill who will recall the privilege of being taken aloft to see Oxford from the open cockpit. Those who knew Digby will remember him as an excellent conversationalist but, above all, as an extraordinarily kind and good natured person who was always willing to give a cheerful helping hand to any who might need it.
Our thoughts remain with Antoinette, daughter Octavia, and grandchildren Orlando and Hunter at this sad time.
Architects drawing of the proposed five level structure which is expected to be used for conferences and seminars out of term time.
The principal talking point on the Hill in 2018 is undoubtedly the proposed development on the site of Foxcombe Hall, the former Open University, by the new owners: Peking University HSBC Business School. The main part of the proposal involves the construction of a five level corner block containing about 100 en suite student units. The location is a more than normally sensitive one; being opposite the “Old Golf Course” from which the famous view of the “Dreaming Spires” of Oxford is to be had. Many local residents are concerned about this significant new structure which would involve a change of use of the site which is within the Oxford Green Belt no-build zone. Such has been the concern locally that a new ad hoc organisation, the Friends of Boars Hill, has been formed to prevent the development from proceeding. If you have a view on this highly topical subject, please use the Contact form to let us know.
Proposed floor plans to house c 100 students. A similar number will commute here each day.