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Allen Boothroyd


Allen Boothroyd (pictured on the far right at the opening of the Village Hall in 2000) made a huge contribution and has truly left his mark on the village
of Little Shelford.

Allen and Judy moved to Woodville Lodge in September 1981. Emily Was
born in 1985. Allen’s business career in the electronics industry started when
in the 1970s Allen and his partner, Bob Stuart, were asked to design an
amplifier. Allen was the designer and Bob the electronics engineer. The
iconic Lecson pre-amplifier and power amp (inspired by the radiators in Ely
Cathedral) resembled no other products on the market at that time and
received a Design Award. They are now in the collections of the MoMA in
New York and the V&A in London. In 1977 Allen and Bob founded their own
hi-fi company - Meridian - specialising in leading edge design and
manufacture of audio systems. They wanted their products to be desirable
as objet d'arts, as well as sounding fantastic. Their products are sold
worldwide. Meanwhile, Judy ran her translation business from offices in
Cambridge.

In the 1990s Allen became a trustee of the Little Shelford Memorial Hall. By
then the hall, built on land bequeathed to the village in 1919 by CF Clay, was
over 75 years old and, though it had a certain charm, it was definitely well
past its ‘sell by date’. Allen, with the support of the then trustees, established
an Action Committee with the sole task of replacing the hall with one fit for
the new millennium. Their role embraced the essential fundraising as well as
the management of the project itself. The committee retained Toni Moses as
their architect. She produced the exciting and radical design which now
adds greatly to the Church Street built landscape. The hall had its official
opening in February 2000.

Allen had vision, enthusiasm and perseverance and was the driving force
behind the development of the hall. He took a ‘hands on’ approach to
managing the project and had the ability to attend to every detail without
losing sight of the bigger picture. That grasp of the fundamentals has been
of huge value to the trustees in the years since. His enthusiasm for the hall
didn’t wane as in the subsequent 20 years he was a member of, and
sometime Chairman of, the trustees.

In December 2012 a note was distributed to everyone in the village,
requesting, amongst things, suggested designs for a village sign. In
response Allen produced a unique and modern design, to be fabricated in
stylish stainless steel, and yet reflecting the history of the village over the last
1000 years. This was adopted and it now stands in the village green at the
end of Church Street. There exists a plaque nearby explaining the
components of the sign and acknowledging Allen’s design. The sign was
unveiled in May 2016.

Allen was an accomplished artist. He was an active member of the Pavilion
Art Group and many of his pictures adorn walls in village homes. The group
includes a small number of photographers and in 2017 those members were
tasked with producing a book called ‘a snapshot in time’. Allen took on the
role of designer and, with the help of the photographic team, a very
attractive book was produced showing many aspects of village life in that
year. That success led to another production in 2019 entitled ‘faces in time’.
Once more Allen was the designer and producer. These two volumes will be
of historical interest as they chronicle the shape of the village in the early
21st century. To some extent they can be contrasted with Fanny Wale’s
record of the village in the same period of the 20th century.
Allen left the village all the richer for his involvement. He will be much
missed.

Allen died on 28 February aged 76.
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