The story of Odells is not just about a shop or a building, but about a family. The third son of William Pancoust Odell and Sarah North did not follow in the family tradition of farming. John Odell joined Thomas French as his assistant at the Newport Pagnell ironmongery. This incorporated the blacksmith's shop, the tin and copper smiths and the forges. John learnt his trade well, working his way up until he bought out the business in 1850.