Fred was born in March 1905 in Rosyth in Scotland and attended school at Limekilns. From then he went on to the Dockyard College - doing his final year at Heriot Watt College where he was awarded his BSc.
By the time he'd qualified during the Depression in the mid 1920's, jobs were scarce, so he set out to find work walking over 100 miles. The jobs he found included being a postman, telegraph engineer, bank clerk and "housewife" to 40 navvies.
He was finally offered a job at Boulton & Paul in Norwich and it was here that he met his future wife Nesta, both being members of the tennis club and the amateur dramatic society.
They married in 1929, eventually moving to Brough in East Yorkshire, where Fred got a job at Blackburn Aircraft. .
When war broke out, Blackburn Aircraft took over other factories - in Leeds, and Dumbarton; and Fred spent his time travelling between the three factories keeping supplies flowing smoothly - he was also flown into France on several occasions to help patch up crashed aircraft and get them back to England.
After the war Fred returned to Boulton & Paul - this time to the aircraft division at Wolverhampton. Setting up house in Codsall, Fred and Nesta started up both a horticultural society and an amateur dramatic society, both of which are still thriving today. Fred's boss at Boulton & Paul was J.D.North who was a very keen gardener, and they encouraged one another. It was whilst at Codsall that the gardening was becoming more specialised and in particular an interest in Alpines. Fred travelled all over Europe leading groups of interested plantsmen and women in the hunt for Alpines, collecting a formidable collection both of genuine plants and slides taken of them in situ half way up an Alp. At one time Fred was given a caricature of himself wearing lederhosen and a cheeky Tyrolean hat, with one foot perched on a small mountain. It was suggested he had a preference for alpine flowers because they were the only ones he could reach, Fred being short of stature. This idea vastly amused him..
As a keen plantsman, during this period, Fred thought nothing of driving to London after work on a Monday to deliver his plants for shows at the RHS, and again on Wednesday to pick them up again. Involved in the RHS from early on, Fred told me he was responsible for much of the organisation of the main marquee at the Chelsea Flower show, coming up with what were then innovative ideas to its use and method of erection. Interestingly the RHS only introduced a new style marquee at Chelsea after Fred's death. He certainly acted as a judge at many RHS shows including Chelsea..
In 1953, Fred moved again to Hunting Aircraft at Luton Airport and he and Nesta came to live at Green End in Leverstock Green. He soon became works director at Luton and was actively involved on the production of both the BAC 111 and the Concorde. It being a very small world, it was during this time that he met my father who also worked on the BAC 111 and Concorde, but based at Weybridge in Surrey. I can also vaguely meeting him myself at a Dinner Dance at Guildford put on at the time. Dad had pointed him out to me ( I would have been in my early teens) as Fred, The Boss at Luton, and I was later to find myself dancing with him briefly during a Gay Gordons, (where the men progress, so one has a new partner every time.) I mentioned this to Fred when we were talking once about the aircraft industry, and my family's involvement in it. He remembered the dinner dance, but understandably not a teenager he whirled round under his arm just the once.
Very soon after coming to Leverstock Green in 1953 (moving in the day before the Coronation) both Fred & Nesta became actively involved in village life, remaining so for the rest of their lives. There was a time when the village library was housed in their front room, and the playgroup was also run from their house. Leverstock Green was still a small village community in those days, and Fred got to know just about everybody. Even towards the end of his life he knew anyone of any importance in the village ~ and he made sure they knew what he felt they should be doing for the village!
Compared to many Leverstock Green residents, my real acquaintance with Fred is of a relatively recent date. Yet in the few years that I knew him well, I came to respect him greatly, and as Leverstock Green's local historian, I quickly came to realise that without Fred's interest, commitment and ability to organise and motivate, Leverstock Green would not be the place or the community it is today. He was tireless in his endeavours to ensure Leverstock Green should have the facilities to match the ever growing community's needs, and that the local environment should be protected form change which would threaten the well-being and spirit of the local community. Yet he was not against change for changes sake, indeed he was in the forefront of organising change where it was to the perceived advantage of the local community. This is best illustrated by his initiating the creation of the present village green as a proper base for the local Cricket Club - the original roadside green going back to medieval times and before, being much smaller.
Fred joined the management committee of the Parish Hall (then almost opposite their bungalow) within a year of moving to Leverstock Green, becoming their Treasurer in 1955 and elected a Trustee in 1957. He was responsible for the launch of LGVA in 1962, being our Chairman for many years and Life President in more recent times. He spent years negotiating the change from the Parish Hall Trust to the Parish Trust, of which he was Chairman till shortly before his death.
After retiring from the British Aircraft Corporation in 1968, he divided his time between his four principle interests: Leverstock Green , his garden, (sen above) the RHS, & the Alpine Garden Society, which he joined in 1945, eventually acting as local group secretary in Hertfordshire for more than 20 years. On the national committee of the Alpine Society he took office as Treasurer, Honorary Publicity Officer and Director of Tours. In 1974 he was made Vice-president and in 1978 he was awarded the Lyttel Trophy for his contribution to Alpines; Fred's specialities were crocus, snowdrops and cyclamen. He also derived great pleasure from the Cyclamen Society which he founded in about 1983, becoming their President.
Fred will be best remembered by many in Leverstock Green as the person who was at the forefront of the fight to prevent a heliport being built on what was eventually to become BP headquarters, now known as Breakspear Park. In this campaign and many others he was never afraid to meet the authorities head on (whatever their political persuasion), and he seemed to have the knack of cutting through red-tape as if it didn't exist.
In 1986 he was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the Community, an honour of which he was greatly proud and justly deserved.
My sincere thanks go to Madge Cheeseborough, Richard Goss, Juliet Swift & Ron Teasle for filing in the gaps of my knowledge about Fred. Barbara Chapman 07/06/2019
Following his death in August 1998 it was my privilege to go through all the documents found at Green End connected with the two Leverstock Green halls. They provided a more than adequate testimony to the huge amount of time and effort Fred was prepared to put into the Leverstock Green community.
I had by July 1999 fully catalogued the papers found at Green End, and this archive of material has now been deposited at HALS (Hertfordshire Archive & Local Studies, County Hall Hertford. - previously known as Hertfordshire Record Office.) As well as the material itself HALS has a comprehensive catalogue I compiled of the documents. Further copies are held by DCHT, Hemel Hempstead Library and Leverstock Green Library where they are available for anyone who wishes to view them.
Until a few weeks prior to his death in August 1998 at the age of 93, Fred was still actively involved with the local community, and relished his role as President of LGVA . We were then awaiting the outcome of the Public Inquiry Inspector's deliberations involved in a fight to prevent the Local Authority redesignating an area around Westwick Farm, so that it would loose its Green Belt Status, and instead of green fields become another housing estate). He was also very proud of the fact that he had been instrumental in moving the War Memorial to a more suitable site nearer the church in April 1997. Twenty years later as I update this page, Westwick Farm is now fully built over, 100s other new houses have gone up in the village, and they are threatening us with almost another 1000!
At this service Richard Reece, Madge Cheesbrough's grandson played the organ, and a tribute was given by his Great Nephew Richard Goss. Amongst other details recalled by Richard, he remembered the celebrations for Fred's 93rd birthday in May when Fred's niece and Richard's mother Deborah Goss, her five children and their partners had joined Fred and Madge Cheesebrough (a long time friend ) for a celebration at the Plough in Leverstock Green followed by a tour of his wonderful garden. (Some photos will be posted below of the party in his honour laid on for his 90th birthday by LGVA.) He had been in good form that day, telling many interesting stories about his past.
Here are a few of the published obituaries I have found from Newspapers, magazines etc.
Immediately below two items from the Gazette August 27 1998, the one with the photograph being on the front page.
His garden at Green End (LEFT: Depicted here under a heavy frost and photographed by Nesta Buglass and I presume sold on behalf of the WI), had given pleasure to thousands of people over the previous 40 years, as Fred & Nesta had frequently opened it to the public, raising many thousands of pounds for charity in the process. Many of the numerous plants which he and Nesta had so carefully nurtured over the years he gave to the various gardening charities after his death. The cyclamen going to the Royal Cyclamen Society - along with the beautiful coloured pencil drawings he made of various plants; his alpine troughs to the Alpine Society; the snowdrops (upon which he was also a world expert) to the RHS, and other shrubs and hardy plants to the Royal National Rose Society.
The year following Fred's Death was the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Leverstock Green village Hall. An event for which Fred was chiefly responsible along with Ron Teasel, having spent many years cajoling the local authority into agreeing to build the hall, only to see the plans falter time and again. However, as with most of Fred's plans, they got there in the end. PLEASE CLICK THE BUTTON BELOW TO GO TO ANOTHER PAGE WITH DETAILS OF THE EVENING.
This photograph appeared in the Hemel Hempstead Gazette in August 1973, and shows Fred in the garden of Green End, holding a model of the new Village Hall built by Ron Teasel.
These two photos show the hall in the process of building. Unfortunately I have lost the name of the photographer. N.B. If you or a relative or friend gave copied of these original slides to me, please contact me.
GW Kirk OBE hands keys
to J. Johnson,Chairman of Dacorum District Council,
watched by Fred Buglass.
BELOW: A very small selection of photographs taken on the occasion of Fred's 90th birthday celebrations
TELEGRAPH: BUGLASS - On August 17 1998 in hospital after a short illness bravely borne, Frederick William Buglass B.E.M. aged 93. Husband of the late Nesta and dear friend of Madge He will be sadly missed by his nieceDeborah and family and all who knew him. Memorial Service at Holy Trinity Church Leverstock Green, Herts on Thursday August 27 at 12 noon following a private cremation. Family flowers only but donations if desired for York Ward Endowment Fund c/0 G. Hall and Sons, 75 Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead, Herts.
LEFT: The Obituary published by the Conservative Party: BELOW: The text of the announcement of his death in the Daily Telegraph (RIGHT & BELOW). Digital photography and scanning equipment at the end of the 20th century, was only just getting started, so that the results above, and to the right from the Telegraph, were of poor quality, but also printed in a very tiny font.
In 2001 Fred's Beloved Green End was auctioned in the Village Hall (see front page of the details) in order to meet the terms of Fred's Will. It is doubtful that he would have foreseen the sale and development of his "estate", but his will, of which there is a copy in the archive, characteristically and generously left many of his trees, plants and Alpines to the RHS and the Alpine & Cyclamen Societies, and after the legacies to those closest to him, the residue of his estate was to be divided between seven charities in proportions he stipulated. The Charities were as follows: The Cyclamen Society, The Alpine Garden Society, The Royal Horticultural Society, The Royal National Rose Society, Leverstock Green Village Association, Holy Trinity Church Leverstock Green, and the Dacorum MacMillan Nurses Appeal.
A local builder/developer purchased the properties, and eventually three well proportioned five-bedroom properties were built in secluded close (Clayton Drive) in what had been Fred's back garden. The council decided to call the close Clayton Drive after Lady Dorothy Clayton East Clayton, daughter of the REvd. Durrant who had ben vicar at Holy trinity. I did point out to them that she had nothing to do with the area of the close, living when a young girl at the Rectory along Pancake Lane, but.....
RIGHT: Plan for the development of what was to become Clayton Close, Green End being retained along with what by 21st century standards is a large garden.