By Simon Pizzey
Stroud-based press photographer Simon Pizzey captured this striking portrait of well-known Stroud figure John Marjoram for the first in an occasional series of pieces for Stroud Times.
John Marjoram, born in 1939, a pacifist since his teenage years with a strong belief in non-violence and anti-nuclear disarmament, moved to Stroud with his young family in 1968 mainly because of his affiliation and interest in the work of the Quakers who had a strong presence in the town.
As a person of strong and outspoken convictions, he soon became a known figure believing that it is our duty to improve our surroundings and make it a better place for future generations which led to him being pivotal in the formation of The Stroud Green Party which went on to be so successful.
His main achievement is being the first Green Party councillor to be elected in the UK (1985) as well as being the first Green Party mayor. However other key achievements also include being a founding member of the successful Stroud Campaign Against the Ringroad (aka SCAR 1974-1978), as a member of the SDC planning committee preventing many unsightly developments happening in the town and surrounding area, being pivotal in preventing the Hill Paul building being demolished and instigating the unique idea of The Mayor’s Bench, meaning that ordinary people had easy and informal access to councillors and were able to voice their concerns.
Why Stroud is so important to him and how he sees its future: Stroud has been John’s home for the last 54 years and during that time he has seen it change considerably. His hope is that it will continue to live up to its progressive past with new and different ideas in town planning and ways of living being encouraged to be explored.
Favourite view or location: looking towards Wales from The Heavens
Bike: Having cycled for his whole life, never owning a driving license, and believing that the fewer cars there are on the road the better for the planet, John’s bicycle has always been his main mode of transport and a big part of his life.
He feels honoured to have his wife Laura in his life and feels that his relationship with her has been the most successful and rewarding.