Doctor’s son makes appointment at surgery on return to childhood home

Mark Tasker and Annie Taylor (practice manager) outside John Tasker house. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Mark Tasker and Annie Taylor (practice manager) outside John Tasker house. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

The son of Dr John Tasker, after whom the Dunmow GP surgery is named, returned to the site of his childhood home after more than two decades, as part of a 1,800-mile charity ride through Britain.

Mark Tasker visited the former doctor's surgery in Roud Street, Dunmow, at the weekend where his father practised and the family lived.

Mark, 63, is cycling to all the places he has lived, starting in Cornwall where he was born, and peddling to his Aberdeen home, before finishing in Orkney. He started his journey on May 23 and intends to finish by the end of this month.

Being the doctor's son had its drawbacks, Mark admits, joking: "He was important. If you did anything naughty everyone would know you were the doctor's son."

Speaking before he reached Dunmow, Mark said he was looking forward to seeing the town, which he has not visited for more than two decades.

He said: "My nicest memories are those early days. The sad thing in my lifetime was the move from Dunmow being a more rural agricultural town to basically a commuter town for people who lived in London."

He also spoke of his intention to cycle to the John Tasker Surgery as well as the site of the sugar factory in Felsted and the Saracen's Head pub, where he worked.

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John Tasker worked in Dunmow for about 30 years and retired aged 63. He died in 1991.

Speaking about his father, Mark said: "He enjoyed his job. He was sad when the airport was being built because that was right in the middle of his area where he practised and a lot of his patients were out there. He spent a lot of time driving around doing home visits, I think he enjoyed those."

Mark's bike ride is in aid of Alzheimer's Research UK and the Spinal Injuries Association.

The retired marine conservationist said: "My sister Joanne, who was born in Great Dunmow, had an accident before last Christmas that seriously injured her spine in her neck and upper back. She is making good progress with the specialists in Stoke Mandeville Hospital. Some 2,500 people per year in the UK have such injuries and the Spinal Injuries Association is there to help them."

Mark added: "If anyone from Dunmow remembers me and wants to get in contact, they can reach me on my blog at"

To sponsor Mark, who has so far raised more than £5,000 for the charities, log on to: