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People: Families: Spondon People of Influence: The Fowlers

Henry Fowler (later Sir Henry) came to live at the Homestead in 1912 when he was appointed Chief Mechanical Engineer to the Midland Railway at Derby.
He quickly became involved in local life, particlarly the Church, where he ran a young men's Bible class, and he organised various sporting activities around the area.
Seconded during World War I to the Ministry of Munitions, he met, and made a considerable impression on, King George V, and was knighted in 1918 at Buckingham Palace for services to his country.
During the war years, away from Spondon, he corresponded with George Wright, asking about the Bible class members in the army, and mentioning those he had met in his travels.
Returning to Spondon after the war, the Fowlers quickly got back into local life: they bought Spondon Hall on Lodge Lane in 1921 and the grounds were used for a variety of activities.
This well-travelled man, who had met people of considerable influence, and his wife never forgot their local environment, the Church, the Cricket Club and the Hockey Association.
In 1923 they gave land off Merchant Avenue for a Women's Institute building to be erected, and on Lady Fowler's death in 1934 Sir Henry donated the entrance gates to the church porch.  Both donations were only known by a very small number of people until after his death in 1938.
There are many stories of the Fowlers' generosity throughout the village, particularly during the difficult times of the 1920s and 1930s.
It can be said that Sir Henry and Lady Fowler had considerable influence on Spondon during the 28 years they lived here.
Dennis Cameron
June 2010