Many of our members will have had the pleasure to meet Phil Darlow, one of WADRA’s long-standing Committee members. Phil moved to Kidmore Road as a child in 1945 when his father was appointed Town Clerk of Reading. Living in Reading, the river and boats became a large part of his life. Subsequently the family moved to The Warren, where their boats were at the bottom of their garden. After completing his training at Warsash Maritime Academy Phil started his career as a merchant naval officer, mainly on ships trading and carrying passengers between Britain the Far East. Upon marrying Gill in 1962, Phil left the merchant navy and began work at The Baltic Exchange in the City of London, buying and selling cargo space. He then set up with a colleague, Mike Magnus, Magdar Shipbrokers in 1976. Phil and Gill had four children, Doug, Nigel, Jen and Pete who grew up in the house on The Warren, where he lived until his death in April 2021. Gill passed away in 2007 after a long illness and Phil subsequently found happiness and companionship with Mutzuko. They enjoyed many happy years together.
Phil was dedicated to his family and also had a hugely successful career, becoming one of the leading and most respected Shipbrokers in London, but Phil will be remembered by the community as the unassuming, non- pretentious, laidback and quietly knowledgeable (about just about everything!) person who volunteered a huge amount of time to the community via WADRA. We aren’t quite sure how long Phil served on WADRA, but we do know that his position on the committee was preceded his mother’s, who was one of the founding members back in 1963. Most recently he was keeping an eye on what has been happening at Chazey Farm and the development of a nursing home. This development has been going on for at least three decades and Phil knew every detail. His historic knowledge of the area and WADRA was invaluable and was a significant contribution to the development of a Constitution that is in keeping with the aims and purpose of WADRA from its inception.
Phil will be greatly missed by all of us on the WADRA Committee and those that have worked with him in the community. It was a great privilege to have known and worked with him.