ONE OF Wales's leading industrialists of the old school, Maynard Jenour was closely identified with that part of the Principality which school textbooks in the inter-war years referred to as Monmouthshire. Indeed, it was not uncommon for the area west of Offa's Dyke to be defined as 'Wales and Monmouthshire'.
Local government reorganisation in the 1970s saw the county retitled Gwent. It was as much a change in name as one in status and throughout Jenour's long career in industry and civil affairs - a period of more than 50 years - both Monmouthshire and Gwent figured prominently.
He was born in Plymouth of military stock - his father was a Brigadier-General. The family moved to Chepstow in 1924 and on leaving Eton Jenour opted for a business rather than a military career. His mother was a member of the Beynon family which owned more than a dozen collieries in south Wales. In the 1920s straight talk was the order of the day in the coalfield, a characteristic which Jenour rapidly acquired through contact with miners. It was a strength which made him popular with working men.
Later the family turned to cement manufacture and from 1929 to 1983 Jenour was a director of the Aberthaw & Bristol Channel Portland Cement Company, serving as chairman and joint managing director from 1946 to 1983. He was also a director of Associated Portland Cement Manufacturers from 1963 to 1975. Other directorships included membership of the boards of Ruthin Quarries (Bridgend) and an Australian firm, Blue Jacket Motel. He served in the Royal Artillery in the Second World War, being demobilised with the rank of major. He became a director of the Beynon family company a year before donning uniform and on his return became chairman and joint managing director.
Maynard Jenour played a full part in Wales's civic life, serving as Vice Lieutenant of Monmouthshire from 1965 to 1974; when, in the latter year, the county was renamed he continued as Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Gwent. Earlier he had served as Monmouthshire's High Sheriff in 1951-52.
His contribution to the task of finding replacements for the declining coal industry was marked by a stint as chairman of the Wales and Monmouthshire Industrial Estates between 1954 and 1960. He was a member of the Development Corporation for Wales from 1958 to 1991.
He sat on the governing bodies of Christ College, Brecon, one of Britain's oldest public schools, and of the National Museum of Wales.
A staunch Conservative, Jenour was party treasurer in Wales and was knighted in 1959. He steadfastly refused to stand for parliament. He gave as his reason a desire to spend as much time as possible with his family - a reason nowadays produced by those who resign from uncomfortable cabinet seats.Reuse content