From Tenby Today - 10 February 2017
As reported last week, the death occurred peacefully on January 26, of John ‘The Candy’ Evenden, of High Street, Tenby, at home following a short illness and surrounded by his family. He was 80.
John was born in London in 1936. When war broke out, he was evacuated first with his mother to Henley on Thames, then at the age of six again, this time on his own, to Cliftonville in Kent, his mother staying on near London working in a munitions factory.
His early years spent working on his new guardians household allotment to supplement the family’s diet, gave him his lifelong love of plants and gardening. A few years ago, when he lived in the Old Coastguard House on Castle Hill here in Tenby, he planted the swathes of daffodils that can still be seen each spring.
In 1952, at the age of 16, John joined the merchant navy training school at Gravesend in Kent, and three months later, joined his first ship, the ocean liner The Queen Mary. He spent the next four years travelling the world, both with Cunard and later with the Union-Castle line, regularly visiting New York, Cape Town, Australia and many other places..
In 1956, after meeting his future wife Margaret on a trip ashore to Margate, near to where he was brought up, John left the merchant navy and joined the army as a regular. He was exempt from national service as he had already been in the Navy, but joined anyway as he rightly thought that regulars were treated better than national servicemen. He trained as a radar technician, but as soon as he qualified, the army in its infinite wisdom, posted him to an army base with no radar installation.
John then spent the rest of his time in the army playing rugby and tug-of-war, gaining colours for both. Whilst stationed near Telford in Shropshire, he and Margaret married. At around this time, he became friends with an older chap who was a policeman; John liked the idea of joining the police force and his friend advised him to join the London Metropolitan Police because ‘that is where the action is.’
So John joined the Met in 1959 and he and Margaret moved to London where later their children, Paul and Jane, were born. John was in the Met for over 15 years and rose to the rank of detective sergeant. He was usually in the thick of the action as a detective and had for some time the highest arrest record in his division. He had many interesting and hair-raising tales of those times and met some famous (and infamous!) people from show business, politics and both sides of the law. Usually enjoying a drink (or 10) with them at some point.
John considered TV shows like ‘The Sweeney’ to be pretty accurate, although a bit tame compared to real life.
In the early ’70s, John left the Met and, along with several other former police officer friends, moved to Tenby. They all bought various businesses.
John became an enthusiastic bon-viviuer and something of a local character.
John and Margaret ran the Candy restaurant together until Margaret passed away in tragic circumstances in 1992. John carried on running the Candy until his retirement when he spent much of each year in Tenerife where his daughter Jane lived and ran a bar restaurant.
John made many firm friends in Tenerife to add to his great many good friends in Tenby.
More recently, Jane and her family have moved back to the London area and John spent many happy times with them there as well.
John always enjoyed good health and rarely visited the doctor, only coming to the attention of the medical profession for the last couple of months of his life. John had a short illness and had no pain; he had a sharp mind right to the end and passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family.