Issue 71 — Dec, 2011
Paul Cullen – Paul died aged 67 in May from a heart attack. He was born in 1943, the result of a wartime adulterous liaison and was put up for adoption: brought up in Chadwell Heath in Essex, he went to St Ignatius School in North London. At 16 he went to sea as a deck cadet and spent a year re-crossing the Atlantic on a bulk freighter, then decided life at sea was not for him and joined British Rail. They sent him to City University, then moved him into management. He married Ann and they lived in Enfield for 25 years where they had one son, Del.
After 15 years Paul left BR and worked for various London boroughs in transport-related posts. He finally went freelance, mostly working for Transport for London, designing computer applications. He also wrote policy papers and did consultancy jobs for Living Streets, a charity that campaigns for better walking conditions.
By the mid-1990s, Paul was divorced. While on the management committee of Living Streets he met Ros Weatherall and they eventually decided to move in together. Around that time he discovered why he’d been adopted, and that he had two half brothers in the USA. Through a series of lucky chances he managed to contact and visit both Trevor and Bruce. Understanding his background made a huge difference to Paul.
In 2000 Paul and Ros moved to Oxford, living in Richmond Road. He soon became a key member of a number of local organizations and campaigns, including the Civic Society, Cyclox, and the Oxford Pedestrians Association, where his expertise and calm diplomatic skills helped promote his vision of Oxford as a friendly and liveable city. He was influential, for example, in introducing the 20 m.p.h. speed limits.
Paul was also a fund of knowledge on traffic and planning issues as a member of the JCA management committee, where he encouraged us to take a broader vision of Jericho’s future. Paul will be sadly missed as a guide and most of all as a friend. Our sympathies to Ros, Del and to grandson Jimi who has just arrived in Oxford as a maths student.