A native of Birmingham, Margaret lived with her parents, George and Dorothy Moore-Orton, and brother and sister Basil (1917-2005) and Joan (b. 1923).
After her marriage to Dudley Lewis Büsst (1919 - 1973), a warrant officer in the R.E.M.E. in 1941, they moved to Arborfield. They has a daughter Anne Lesley (b. 1943), later Mrs Giddings.
Margaret and Dudley travelled extensively abroad with the army and when Dudley was a member of the Amateur Athletics Association. After Dudley's death in 1973, Margaret moved to Acorn Drive in Wokingham.
A strong desire to do something about what developers were doing to Wokingham attracted Margaret to civic life and she was elected Councillor in 1966. During her civic career Margaret concentrated on planning and did her best to maintain the character of Wokingham, fighting hard to save Rose Street from office development. When she was elected Mayor in 1976 her daughter Lesley was her Mayoress and Robert Naish her Deputy Mayor.
Outside civic life she was a founder member of the Wokingham Society; committee member of WADE and a member of Friends of Littlecourt, the WADE centre.
She first met who would become her second husband, John Boys Shaw (b. 1926), an Englishman living in New Zealand since 1954, when she flew over there for the Commonwealth Games. He had been a track official in athletics and alongside his wife, Dorothy offered accomodation in their home for visitors as all the hotels were full. After Dudley's death, she decided to return to New Zealand in his memory. Dorothy died in 1993 and John and Margaret met twice five years later. During this second meeting Margaret accepted his proposal of marriage.
They were married in Christchurch on 9th September 1999. The date was chosen by Margaret who is superstitious, and had decided that the number nine was an important one for her.