The Shuttleworth College Association Newsletter - Summer 2015

Page 1

The Shuttleworth College Association Newsletter Summer 201

Contents. Pages 2 - 3

Chairman’s and Editorial Reports.


Reunion 2016 Plans & Association Draw Advert.

5 - 7.

Executive Directors Report.

8 -10.

Draft Minutes of the SCA 2015 AGM.

11 -13

Members News


David Critchley’s Cancer Campaign.

16 -17

A look back at the Rugby Tour of 1963


Why write letters to the Press?


A bit of History - Ed Bennett’s Letter.


When disaster strikes - Fire & Pollution.


The Swiss Gardens.


Association Merchandise Advert.


“Halls” – Students write


Arctic Adventure continues - Howard Barbour.


Obituary. Don Davis.


Shuttleworth College Advert.


Details of the Officers of the Association. 1


Chairman’s piece It is June already. May consisted of beautiful sunny days interspersed with the odd heavy shower. When working on a farm you always keep a close eye on the weather – arable and livestock are both affected by it, and of course it is one of the mainstays of British conversation. Though neither Paddy nor I work on a farm any more we have even more livestock to look after as, apart from our 2 dogs, we keep bees. Thousands of the little ’critters’, and this time of year with the spring weather they need as much attention as your in-calf heifers. So, today, on this lovely sunny day, and despite our best efforts, one of our hives has swarmed. I have just had to watch as thousands of our workers depart for a new home. This neatly leads on to a point I would like to make, which is: Please keep the SCA up to date with your contact details. Many people move house – apparently on average 8 times in your lifetime. Consequently addresses and phone numbers change and also many people change their email address. Please don’t forget to inform us – you never know, you might have won the SCA lottery and we won’t know where to send the cheque!

Sarah Perrett (77/80) Chairman

Editorial Co-ordinator’s Report. Tim Bryce (65/67) Somehow the Magazine keeps going even if it has changed a bit and is of course, now constructed and distributed by modern technology. I really would like to hear from you about how you feel about all this change. We still have nearly 100 people getting the Annual printed version. Some, particularly the older members, still do not use computers and some perhaps with less than perfect sight may not like or be able to read from a screen. Please do let us know if you are one of those suffering in silence, we can and will add you to the list of those getting the printed version at Christmas time. Please just ring or write to me. E-mail: tim.bryce Tel: 07734455472 Address: 37 People’s Place, Warwick Rd, Banbury. OX16 0FJ Believe it or not, I am getting older. I have said to the Committee that I will no longer do this job once I reach 80 year of age. That means that I will do the Christmas Edition this year and the following year, but that will definitely be my last. We need a successor and it may well need to be from outside our present Committee. Could you possibly consider taking on the work? Do please think seriously about it and please feel free to ring me to have a chat about what is involved. In recent times, I have persuaded members of the Committee to take various assistant roles to spread the workload, so it is really not quite so onerous a job as it might appear. You, our members, are the people that make the Newsletter what it is. Without those who send me interesting material, I would have nothing to print. Everyone please think, SCA Newsletter and just keep sending me your contributions. You know what I need, News about what you are doing and where you are, and interesting Stories and Articles. With two On-line Newsletters a year, I no longer think in terms of a deadline. .Any item, regardless of when it arrives, can be used for the next edition. The Students. Some interesting changes seem to be taking place within the Student body. They are this year setting up and taking part in an Inter-college Rugby competition - “Shuttleworth Sevens” - in conjunction with the RFU. In the first season seven colleges from surrounding counties will be taking part. The SCA are hoping to encourage this by donating a Trophy.


The students are also producing a Newsletter of their own – I guess with help from some members of staff. I have included some extracts to give you a little taste of the mag. They title the publication “Halls” and it is obviously driven by those students living in College. Time will tell how it progresses. Another interesting development is the wish of a group of relatively recent student leavers to hold a Reunion of their own. This is being encouraged and supported by the College and I hope to report on the outcome after the event has taken place. Over quite some years now, we as the established “Association of Past Student” have found it extremely difficult to find common ground with the students of today. While accepting that huge changes have taken place at Shuttleworth, including the type of Courses run, the younger age of students, combined with computers and the changes in teaching methods, we have struggled to know what to do about the problem. I personally am very excited at the prospect of what appears to be happening. Are the students going back to doing some of those things we used to enjoy while at Shuttleworth? It could be the beginning of a new era. .. ------I------

SCA Reunion-Priceless!

This is a good story, but remember we are all getting older!

It was their 60th Old College Reunion. He was a widower and she the widow of another old student. They had known each other for a number of years having attended Shuttleworth College reunions many times in the past. On this occasion, the widower and the widow made a foursome with two other singles. They had a wonderful evening, their spirits high. The widower throwing admiring glances across the table. The widow smiling coyly back at him. Finally, he picked up courage to ask her, "Will you marry me?" After about six seconds of careful consideration, she answered, "Yes,..... yes I will!" The evening ended on a happy note for the widower. But the next morning he was troubled. Did she say “Yes” or did she say “No?” He couldn't remember. Try as he would, he just could not recall. He went over the conversation of the previous evening, but his mind was blank. He remembered asking the question but for the life of him could not recall her response. With fear and trepidation he picked up the phone and called her. First, he explained that he couldn't remember as well as he used to. Then he reviewed the past evening. As he gained a little more courage he then inquired of her. "When I asked if you would marry me, did you say “Yes” or did you say “No?” "Why you silly man, I said Yes. Yes I will. And I meant it with all my heart." The widower was delighted. He felt his heart skip a beat. Then she continued. "And I am so glad you called because I couldn't remember who asked me!”

The Real News - Now remember - the next Reunion will be held over the weekend of May 14th & 15th 2016


Shuttleworth College Association Reunion 2016 We will be holding a Reunion and Dinner for members and their partners. It will be held over the Weekend of May 14th-15th 2016. Put the date in your Diary Now. The Dinner will be held on the Saturday evening in the Ken Russell Hall, and the Association AGM will be held earlier in the day. Tony Abbott (65/67) will be organizing the event and he will be taking bookings very soon. Full details will be available in the Christmas Newsletter, but if you wish to contact Tony, please, e-mail or Telephone: 01794 523040 He has already block-booked all the accommodation in the Chris Smart Wing for our use.

THE S.C.A. Annual Prize Draw Your chance of winning a BIG Prize Every year at the AGM we draw 3 Prizes 1st £250.00, 2nd £150.00, 3rd £50.00 Cost is just £10 per Annum and you can buy as many tickets as you wish! Details and entries from Mike Williams: E-mail


SHUTTLEWORTH EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT June 2015 Applications for Animal Care are once again very strong. There appears to be a strong shift towards the higher level qualifications ie Level 3 and Foundation Degree with a corresponding reduction in Level 1 and 2. This is encouraging as it reflects our strategy towards higher level qualifications progressing to strong employment and university applications. Research identifies that students leaving at Level 1 or Level 2 have lower aspirations and fewer opportunities. Recruitment in Agriculture, Fish Management and Horticulture, where numbers are significantly down on this time last year, are more concerning. They do not yet take into account progression from Level 1 and Level 2 and so we anticipate viable cohorts in September. However, the number of new applicants is disappointing so far. We are undertaking a review of our provision in the first case to understand why there are fewer students coming forward and secondly to look at our marketing. We have recently purchased an analytical tool which suggests that almost 100% of students studying these topics in this area come to Shuttleworth so it looks to be more of an industrial issue rather than a specific college one. Conversely there has been a significant increase in Agriculture, Countryside and Horticulture apprenticeships so it might be a simple replacement effect. Short Course activities and adult full-cost courses have increased. This reflects the increased professionalism of our delivery teams and resources. Floristry and Royal Horticultural Society courses have shown a substantial increase and, in part, this is due to our improving reputation and our competitors closing their provision. The number of students progressing from their vocational course to their chosen employment has been very encouraging with some top jobs being secured, particularly in the farming, horticulture and the fisheries sector. The number of applications for university places has been very high from students leaving us at the end of this year. It is great to see students with confidence and high aspirations for their future. We are delighted that Shuttleworth is now able to offer the full BSc in Animal Science in partnership with the University of Bedfordshire which really adds to the depth of the studies on offer at Shuttleworth. We are now in discussion with the faculty to review the programme and to develop additional Level 4 and 5 units that will lead to qualifications in land & environmental topics. The political turmoil of the current HE territory has made it difficult for us to negotiate a clear direction. Numbers of 14-16 year old school students studying at Shuttleworth appear to have stabilised. We have strong recruitment in Animal Care, Equine and Agriculture which is particularly encouraging. The disappointment is that school students are coming from a few of the larger and more successful schools; smaller and more challenged schools appear to have greater pressure on their already stretched finances. The students’ performance has been very strong this year and retention figures for long courses for those students leaving in June are at 94% which is outstanding. Whilst this is an early indicator of success rates, we have to ensure that these retained students lead to success. Last year’s success data included maths and English achievement and while the vocational qualifications retained high success rates the overall headline data showed a reduction to 83%. Whilst this is particularly


disappointing, our results still sit above the national median. We have a clear vision to improve performance to the top 25 percent. We are really pleased with the international developments of the vocational agricultural course in partnership with the Marshal Papworth Trust for 13 agricultural project supervisors from African countries. The Trust has forged links with Self Help Africa and Farm Africa charities to deliver training specifically targeted on their operations in developing countries. This has assisted applicants in successfully obtaining visas as well as giving a rather different steer to the programme which will ensure that it is even more relevant to their roles and aspirations. As part of their studies we have included the delivery of business and enterprise and agro-forestry and a discrete qualification in ‘Training the Trainer’. We believe that the programme will enhance the impact of the returning graduates. Farm Africa’s strapline is “End Hunger – Grow Farming” which is a laudable ambition. Teams have focused on developing and increasing professional partnerships with organisations and societies to enhance the industrial relevance of our programmes. We are again pleased to be hosting the CASE IH farmers’ training courses as it gives our own students access to a wide range of up-to-date advanced technology and raises the profile of agriculture and agricultural machinery within the farming community. In addition we have secured a similar relationship with Stihl chainsaws and strimmers and Lely grassland harvesting machinery. The British Soils Society, through Cranfield University, and Agrii have started off our journey into agricultural research and development running courses on soils and cultivation technology as well as first-stage trials on cereal varieties. In collaboration with Eblex, agricultural students are undertaking beef ration trials monitoring the impact of nutrition on growth rates. In addition, Shuttleworth is one of the founding colleges of the National Agri-Tech College. Andrew Davies from Woburn Foods has been elected as one of the directors which will ensure that we are well represented in this initiative. Our work with the RSPB is very exciting for us. We have delivered courses on their national programme for Livestock Handling and Husbandry and in addition, have a national course on the impact of agro-chemicals in the environment which will provide the underpinning knowledge to their environmental roles. Practical activities at Kingshill Farm have demonstrated the importance of continuous improvement of resources as students have been inspired by the increased access to practical animal handling, and the planning, cultivating and planting, along with monitoring the development of a range of agricultural crops. The crops have come through the winter very well indeed and are currently on target to produce high yields excepting for the oilseed rape which has been abysmal due to poor establishment followed by substantial pigeon damage. Work experience as part of the new Programmes of Study has had a significant impact on the way that we have managed our resources. All Level 3 students have had an extended period of planned work experience in their vocational area. This has resulted in more students leaving the college with confirmed high quality employment in their specialism, reflecting their skills and ambitions. Great care is taken to match students appropriately with suitable employers. In a number of cases, the feedback has been that this year’s cohort of students have been the best employees ever and it has resulted in a number of them being offered permanent jobs. One Level 3 Fisheries student has been offered a post in European sales with NASH Tackle as a result of a work placement earlier in the year. As well as full-time posts, many students are offered part-time work alongside continued study with us, based on the relationships built up whilst on work placement.


Our Horticulture students and staff have been inspirational in building a show garden at the Ideal Home Exhibition in March and we were delighted that they were awarded the Silver Medal out of the top six colleges in the country. The garden was transported to the College’s sustainability event in May to be presented to the Bedfordshire community. RHS students are planning to attend Gardeners’ Question Time which will be held in Bedford on 6 July which will be a great event for Bedfordshire. The great work that has been undertaken with QR codes and Layar technology has been developed further in a project sponsored by EMCETT and JISC and staff are working with colleagues on a national project. A website is being developed by Carl Groombridge in order to share research findings. A number of colleges have requested visits to the College and Carl has led CPD at national events on the use of augmented reality in teaching and learning. Resource Planning We are particularly keen to focus developments on: 1. Kingshill Farm Estate to provide an improved teaching and learning space for land-based studies and activities which includes a livestock housing and handling area to provide a safe and contemporary place for students from Agriculture and Animal Care to work with a range of farm animals. We also need to create some good quality classroom and social space to enable an effective learning experience. 2. Our Animal Care facilities are very poor and require substantial investment to enable an improved learning experience for this significant and growing area of our activities. We need to provide a new industry standard demonstration and teaching space together with specialist zoological quality enclosures reflecting the job opportunities that a significant number of our students graduate to. 3. The likely doubling of our HE students necessitates a review of the accommodation and the provision of a specialist HE learning resource area. This is fairly easily done by moving the various functions of the College around and releasing the lower area of the LRC block as the first step of the HE Centre.

Michael Johnston Shuttleworth College Executive Director

Mike Johnston also writes, 1) We are delighted that the Archbishop of Canterbury is planning to visit Shuttleworth in June. He will meet farmer representatives and Shuttleworth students to get a real feel for the issues surrounding life and work in the countryside. He seems to have a real interest in the themes around “Who is my Neighbour?' and 1 have no doubt he will be an inspirational visitor to the College. 2) It is great to see the Swiss Garden starting to mature. The work that has been done by the developers, followed by the Garden staff, is edifying. I am really pleased that College apprentices and students are involved in maintaining and enhancing the gardens. What an experience it is for them, and a delight for all to visit. See the article about the Swiss Gardens. Page 23.


Shuttleworth College Association Draft Minutes of Annual General Meeting held on Saturday 9 May 2015 in the Lecture Theatre, Shuttleworth College Present: Sarah Perrett Tim Bryce Mike Williams Patrick Godwin Nick Drury Tony Abbott Charlotte Scott Claire Van Leersum Robert Kilbourn Eric Yates Sally Cartwright George Nell Mike Johnson Apologies: Jon Mitchell Richard Infield Graeme Brown George Munns

1977-80 SCA Committee Chairman 1965-67 SCA Committee & Newsletter Editor 1965-67 SCA Committee & Treasurer 1977-80 SCA Committee & Database / IT 1981-84 SCA Committee 1965-67 SCA Committee 1990-92 SCA Committee, Secretary 1981-84 SCA Committee 1981-84 SCA Committee College Staff, Vice President & SCA Committee 1986-89 SCA Committee 1969-71 SCA Committee Executive Director, Shuttleworth College 1992-95 1991-94 1977-80 1981-84

SCA Committee – Vice Chairman SCA Committee

Sarah Perrett opened proceedings at 11.10hrs. Minutes of the 2014 AGM The Draft Minutes were circulated in the Annual Newsletter, and were also available at the Meeting. Sarah Perrett proposed their acceptance, seconded by Patrick Godwin. They were accepted unanimously by those at this meeting who had attended last year as a true record. Matters arising from previous AGM There were no matters arising from the minutes. Officer’s Reports Chairman – Sarah Perrett First Sarah thanked all members of the committee for their continued work over the past year, which had been a relatively quiet one in terms of Association activities. We have funded a new screen for the students so they have an electronic noticeboard showing what is going on at the College and have also funded students to achieve their forklift training certificates. The Annual newsletter has now gone electronic and Sarah thanked Tim and George for all their time and effort spent on this. It should be noted that the newsletter is still available in printed format if requested. Treasurer – Mike Williams Mike presented the accounts to the meeting.

With comments as follows:-Due to the current climate


this year is the first year in eight years that we have had a decrease between the opening and closing capital. This is also due to the sponsorship paid out to the College for the forklift training. There has been a small reduction in the annual magazine subscriptions received. This is because a number of members paid a lump sum (10 years ago) and these have now expired. Printing costs for the newsletter have increased slightly. The 2014 reunion broke even so did not cost the SCA anything. Charlotte Scott proposed the adoption of the accounts, seconded by Tony Abbot and the vote was unanimous. The meeting thanked Mike for his continued work as Treasurer. Secretary – Charlotte Scott Charlotte had little to report however she did point out that the Committee meetings held by Conference call still seem to be working well and although the calls can be costly it is still cheaper for most in comparison to the travel costs if the meeting is held face to face. We usually hold every other meeting via conference call. I.T. Manager – Paddy Godwin Paddy commenced by stating that “The database is only as good at the information in it”. If anyone has any updates for the database of people’s contact details please pass them on to Paddy. If anyone is trying to track down any old friends please contact Paddy and he will try and help you. Robert Kilbourn suggested a trawl of course reps and contacting them to contribute to the newsletter with updates etc may be a good way to update the database. Newsletter Editor (Newlsetter Co-Ordinator) – Tim Bryce The newsletter is now published electronically on a half yearly basis and in a printed version annually with approximately 100 copies being sent out by post at Christmas.. Tim reported that he can only measure the success of the newsletter by the feedback he receives. Success is also based on the number of contributions he receives. Due to the lack of newsletter contributions in recent months, Tim urged members to forward him any snippets from press articles or about fellow old students to him and he can include them in the next newsletter. Tim will be retiring in 18 months time and he will cease to be responsible for the Newsletter. He has suggested that all committee members will need to do their bit as Editorial assistants in order to lighten the load on himself or the person who is to take on the responsibility of the Newsletter in the future. Claire suggested speaking with George Munns to see if he can help. Tim thanked all the Newsletter contributors. It is generally the same people who contribute year on year and their contributions are much appreciated (approx 50 of the 600 subscribers contribute on a regular basis). College Report – Mike Johnson – Executive Director, Shuttleworth College There are currently 650 full time students at Shuttleworth. Student numbers are the same this year as they were last year. The age group of students is now 16-19 as this a guaranteed income. Any students over the age of 19 only receive half the funding and ages 24+ receive no funding at all.


Other pockets of funding are available to the College and Mike was pleased to announce that they had received a sports grant which has enabled them to set up a Rugby 7’s tournament and the first competition is taking place next week with other Colleges at Shuttleworth. One of the biggest assets to the College are the Machinery companies who allow them access to machinery for example Case has delivered a combine to the College which the students are able to work on. Lely has also lent the College equipment for students to use on the land. Mike was pleased to inform us that out of 360 colleges in the UK, Shuttleworth is one of the top 40. Mike thanked the committee for the sponsorship last year for the TV Screen which is in the Machinery shed and shows students what is going on in and around the campus on a daily basis. He also thanked the committee for funding 10 x first year students through their fork lift training enabling them to make use of this qualification during their sandwich year placements. Mike touched on the subject of social media and suggested that we may wish to look at alternative ways of communicating with the more recent college leavers. He said that the College are hosting a reunion for recent leavers and the response has been very positive with over 100 responses so far, he will be attending this reunion and will speak with them to find out the best way to communicate and will also try and recruit some people to join the Committee. Re-Election of Officers Chairman Sarah Perrett – proposed Charlotte Scott, seconded Nick Drury Vice Chairman Jonathan Mitchell. – proposed Tony Abbott, seconded Tim Bryce Secretary Charlotte Scott - proposed George Nell, seconded Claire Van Leersum Treasurer Mike Williams – proposed Sarah Perrett, seconded Rob Kilbourn I.T. Manager and assistant – Paddy Godwin & Sarah Perrett – proposed Tony Abbott, seconded Tim Bryce Social Media Claire Van Leersum – proposed Nick Drury, seconded Rob Kilbourn Editor – Tim Bryce – proposed Sarah Perrett, seconded Eric Yates Assistant Editor Sally Cartwright – proposed Eric Yates, seconded Charlotte Scott Committee Sam Donald, George Nell, Nick Drury, Eric Yates, Daniel Silson, Tony Abbott, Sally Cartwright, Robert Kilbourn, Claire Van Leersum and Richard Infield - reelected enbloc. Any Other Business There was none. Annual Prize Draw - was made and the following names won this years prizes. 1st Prize 2nd Prize 3rd Prize

No.58 – RBR Burtt No.34 Nick Drury No.26 J Martin

£250 £150 £50

Mike Williams thanked all members who supported this draw, and reminded those present and readers of the minutes that they too could be in with a chance of winning. He hoped that even more members would sign up before next year’s draw. Sarah thanked everyone for their contributions to the meeting. There being no further business the meeting was closed at 12.30pm.


Members News. 1960/62 News from Phil Cuttell. “News Flash” I am retireing as your representative. Its been a great priviledge producing all the news for the mag since 1963. As a 75 year old I am one of the 60/62 groups youngest members. If anyone from the group would like to carry on doing the report each year I think it would be very welcome. I will soon be flying to Malaga to spend a couple of months with my friends (returning in June). Its not good bye, its au revoir. Please keep in touch by mail or telephone. My e-mail is naff at the moment. Good luck to you all. Mike & Chris Pitchford have completed building two new bungalows in the grounds of their exciting house in Albrighton. Its been a 10 year mission concluded with a celebration, house warming event. Dave & Ann Jackson reported that they have travelled out to and in Australia during the last 12 months. I think they have maintained contact with Dave & Margaret Geodgame in Cairns, Queensland. They also have completed building their own house near Cairns. Tony & Amanda Bradley responded to my question about the Newsletter report. They themselves have had a trip by ship(?) around Europe. I don’t know whether Don & Jean Stuart have repeated another holiday voyage through the Baring straits to visit magical northern ports and countries? Tim Pilbeam (81/82 ) Quick resume for me. Still involved in a 425 acres family farm near Hastings, on the south coast in East Sussex, divided between arable farming and renting out grassland. Still married to a Bedford PE young lady Heather (Nee Roberts) for some 28 years, with 3 boys, Ben 26, Oliver 25 and Richard 22. Over the last 27 years I have diversified into the Land Rover market with a service centre in Kent (, and property; renting out domestic and commercial properties. Recently, I have sacrificed 50 acres into a Solar farm, securing the future of the family business, which will be the best decision I have made for years! Following my passion for hunting, I am also a Freelance Rifle and hunting journalist, writing for the “Sporting Rifle” and “Modern Gamekeeper” magazines, involved in heading up films for the “Field Sports Britain Channel” and Shooting Show internet TV companies, that takes me around Europe. I would love to catch up with fellow course mates. Email or mobile 07703 581630 Roberts Country Vehicles Ltd Independent Land Rover Service Centre Waterside Garage, Branbridges Road, East Peckham, Tonbridge, Kent. TN12 5HH Tel: 01622 873000. Web site:

Colin Racey (64/66) I hope this email finds you ok, I have retired from the farming Company leaving my brother to carry on farming, we have three daughters married with families one living on the Gold Coast in Australia, we visit most years but this year we were pleased to see them here in England staying with us for one month. I enclose two scans which readers may find interesting, I have more if you need them, I will email more material but I am busy this week, kind regards let me Know that this mail found you.

Michael Clark (65/67) Retirement has not been easy to come to grips with so have embraced volunteer work at a creative writers centre and am training to be a crisis counsellor for Lifeline – this has a heavy emphasis on short term crisis relief with people at risk of suicide. This has been pretty confronting and a good personal learning opportunity. The retirement blues have disappeared in the face of the real pain


that is confronting many out there in sunny Australia. Our intended trip to the UK has had to be postponed until 2016. I have had recent contact with Roger Harper who turns 70 tomorrow and will be having dinner with Chris & Debbie Fyson on Thursday. All are in good health. Again Roger Harper (64/66), Chris Fyson (65/67) and I, together with our wives, will be meeting up for a West Australian reunion at a Thai restaurant in Fremantle on June 6th. All being well, we'll have a picture or two for your next edition. Cheers for now.

Geoff Butler (61/63) I have just received The 2015 Newsletter and I offer thanks to all who contribute to its production. I have now retired from active Farming in the UK but still maintain a small Ag interest in Kansas US. Geoff Butler Director, Daleoak Ltd., Cloverfield, Horsebridge Road, Kings Somborne, Hampshire.

James Tallowin (92/95) James farms at Willow Farm, Hickling in Norfolk took part in the pilot big farmland bird count and was a national finalist in the 2012 Silver Lapwing National Conservation Award. Chris Ashcroft (75/78) Chris who is farming 1,000ha of arable land at Wilbraham Farms near Cambridge, has been using soil mapping technology to target his inputs and make savings. Tim Mack (69/71) Tim of Broads-based Yare Valley Oils is pressing his rapes seed to produce high quality cooking oil favoured by many top chefs including Jamie Oliver and Raymond Blanc, because of its high smoke point. Tim sells 6-7,000 litres of rapeseed oil across East Anglia including a chilli flavoured one. The remaining husks are then used to fuel his biomass boiler. In addition to the oilseed rape the 750 acre farm produces cereals, potatoes and sugar beet. Hugh Alston (74/77) Hugh Alston of Bradfield Hall Farm, an arable farm of five hundred acres growing wheat, barley, potatoes and sugar beet. Hugh has always farmed in a way sympathetic to the wildlife on his farm. During the working day Hugh would regularly see roe and muntjak deer, kestrels, foxes, kingfishers and even the odd marsh harrier. Ever conscious of news headlines about the decline in farmland habitat Hugh has set about ensuring Bradfield remains a haven for wildlife. Wide margins have been added around all the fields, native trees and hedgerows around the farm re-planted and beetle banks introduced to the middle of fields to act as an island refuge for small mammals and insects. In 1998, when the decline in farmland birds in particular really started to be reported, Hugh decided to start making a list of all the birds seen on the farm and encouraged visitors to do the same. Off the back of those records and concerned that bird numbers weren't as high as they could be, he set up a series of feeding stations around the farm and a small conservation area. Results were spectacular and flocks of goldfinch, yellowhammer and sparrows are now a common sight. Hugh now sells wild bird food, the same bespoke mixes and straight seeds he uses for his


own birds, with proceeds going towards maintaining the conservation area. The farm has also diversified and for visitors that wish to stay a little longer, Bradfield now has a small quiet five pitch caravan site, great for children of all ages and dog-friendly. Bradfield now lets farm buildings to local businesses for workshops and storage. One of the longest residents is the local dog training and obedience school. Richard Hirst (80/83) Richard continues to extend his diversification having started with the maize maze in 2007 the site now known as Hirsty’s Family Fun Park opened at Easter as “Hirsty’s Easter Baa-nanza”, with a wide range of attractions including go-karting, tractor tours and lambing. This is only a year on from the destructive fire in which pregnant ewes and ewes and lambs were lost. Visitors were able to see the new livestock facilities. Please see article about the fire; Page 21. Richard is also Chairman of the Edge Apprenticeships scheme. Edward Smith (74/75) Earlier this year I made contact with Edward. He and his wife are keeping fit and well. He is farming the old family farm in Warwickshire, now well over 1000 acres mainly arable. He hates the red tape and stupid new rules imposed on the industry. He told me he has 2 miles of his boundary fronting the M40 Motorway – again he has problems with the rules about what he may or may not do with the fencing.

So they don’t forget I still need to be fed …


David Critchley (60/62) This was the story about David used in a national awareness campaign on oesophageal cancer.

David C cancer and is now chairman of support group GASSUP (Gullet and 12:30 Tuesday 03 February 2015

“Choking on a piece of Salmon saved Lancashire man’s life” People suffering from heartburn for more than three weeks are urged to see their doctor as it could be a sign of oesophageal or stomach cancer. Aasma Day talks to one Lancashire man who knows only too well the importance of early medical intervention. Eating a piece of salmon at a family party, David Critchley had the frightening experience of getting the salmon stuck and struggling to breathe. The terrifying incident was the trigger he needed to see his GP after suffering increasing symptoms of heartburn for a few years. David, now 74, who lives in Eccleston, near Chorley, recalls: “I had been getting indigestion for years, but then I started getting it more often and began getting heartburn as well. I then realised I was eating more slowly and everything was taking me a lot longer to eat”. “Even a banana seemed to take an age to eat. I now realise it was the difficulty with swallowing I was experiencing which was causing my meals to take a lot longer to finish. Then I had the incident where the salmon got stuck in what I thought was my throat, but was actually my oesophagus. It was very frightening as I was retching and struggling to breathe and I felt discomfort. I eventually managed to get the piece of salmon dislodged. It gave me the push I needed to visit my doctor as I was also losing weight.” David, who was 65 at the time, was sent to hospital where he had an endoscopy. Doctors found a large tumor. However, it was well contained and had not spread. David then underwent three sessions of chemotherapy to shrink the tumor and make it operable. He had the operation in April 2006. The major surgery took eight hours and involved removing the tumor, reshaping the stomach into a tube form and then connecting it to what was left of the oesophagus. It is now possible to perform part of the operation through a keyhole procedure for some patients. David spent 11 days in hospital before returning home to recover and, nine years on, he is doing very well. David says: “The outcome has been very good for me and that is why I am keen to publicise the importance of seeking medical help when you suffer persistent symptoms of heartburn. A lot of people keep taking antacids instead of going to their GP, but there could be an underlying cause as to why they are getting heartburn so much.” To support others in similar situations, David helped found GASSUP – the Gullet and Stomach Support Group. The group, which has been running for around seven years, meets on the last Wednesday of each month at Vine House Cancer Help at Cromwell Road, Ribbleton, Preston. David is helping “Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust”, in partnership with “Public Health England”, to raise awareness of oesophageal and stomach cancers as part of the national “Be Clear on Cancer” campaign. The campaign urges people to visit their doctor if they have heartburn most days for three weeks or more as this can be a sign of oesophageal or stomach cancer. Latest figures reveal around 630 people in Lancashire and Cumbria are diagnosed with oesophago-gastric cancers each year, resulting in 455 deaths annually.


Jeremy Ward, consultant surgeon at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, says: “Early diagnosis and treatment of cancer can save lives. Heartburn most days for three weeks or more could be a sign of cancer, as could food feeling like it’s sticking in your throat when you swallow. I would urge anyone experiencing these symptoms to seek medical help. The chances are it is nothing serious, but finding it early makes it more treatable and early diagnosis and treatment of cancer can save lives.” A new survey commissioned by Public Health England reveals that nationally, only one in two people (55 per cent) would visit their doctor if they experienced these symptoms. The survey showed that 59 per cent of respondents did not know that heartburn could be a sign of cancer, with just 15 per cent saying they were certain it is a symptom. Another symptom highlighted by the campaign is the difficulty of swallowing food. The survey found 70 per cent did not know food sticking in the throat could be a sign of cancer and just 13 per cent of those surveyed said they were sure it is a symptom. Early diagnosis of oesophageal or stomach cancer – also known as oesophago-gastric cancers – is crucial and means treatment is more likely to be successful. Nationally, around 67 per cent of people diagnosed with oesophago-gastric cancers at the earliest stage survive for at least five years. This figure drops to around three per cent for those diagnosed at a late stage. Professor Kevin Fenton, national director of health and wellbeing at public health England, explains the importance of this awareness activity: People may be reluctant to visit their doctor about persistent heartburn, thinking that it’s something they just have to live with. But heartburn most days for three weeks or more could be a sign of cancer. The earlier cancer is diagnosed, the higher the chance of survival. If we are to improve early diagnosis rates, we need to encourage people with symptoms to go to their doctor, which is what this latest “Be Clear on Cancer” campaign aims to do. It has been estimated that around 950 lives could be saved in England each year if survival rates for oesophago-gastric cancers matched the best in Europe. Of those diagnosed with oesophago-gastric cancers, more than nine out of 10 people are over the age of 50. Thank you David and good luck with your continuing good health and your work helping the medical profession, promote this cancer awareness. Editor – Tim.

FACEBOOK: As you may know I am not on Facebook. Hence I try to make friends without using Facebook. Therefore I walk around the streets every day telling random people how well I slept last night, what I ate, how I feel, what I am doing and what I will do. I also listen to their conversations and tell them each time that I like it. Result: I have already 3 people following me: 2 police officers and 1 psychiatrist.... By your friend, Dave Walker.


The 1963 Rugby Tour. On April 11th 1963, at 4.30 p.m., seven travellers arrived at the bar of the Lilfred guest –house in Great Yarmouth, due to the splendid organisation of Andrew Finn-Kelcey (61/63). At 10.30 p.m. there were still only seven players at the bar, when a vociferous crash announced the arrival of the Yorkshire contingent. On Friday morning we assembled at Lowestoft at 11 a.m. to shake hands with the Mayor prior to kick-off. Since we were one short, Andrew, having torn knee ligaments, played on the wing – a rather imposing secret weapon. After long handshakes, the Mayor duly kicked off in the wrong direction, much to the surprise of Duncan and Andrew who were busily comparing hangovers. For the first ten minutes the college dominated the game, throwing the ball about in true festival manner. Then Neil Hampson (61/63) fell awkwardly and was carried off, with what we later found out was a broken leg. To avoid being overrun we had to tighten the game up, but rather against the run of play, Steve Ford at scrum-half had two superbly evasive jinking runs to score. Les Hawksworth (62/64), a soccer convert, made one a goal and also kicked a fine penalty. The opposition replied in like fashion, though one conversion was rather dubious, the linesman disagreeing and the referee awarding points for “a jolly good try”. Thankfully we were 11-11 when the final whistle blew. Thence for something to eat, drink, walks along the seafront, and a general random sampling of the local attractions......... such as the fun-fair, where Archie excelled himself by inveigling the team into taking a trip on the roller-coaster. Suitably we finished with the team coming down the helter-skelter en masse, to end up in a confused tangle at the bottom. – Pete Pharaoh (61/63) bringing up the rear with an enormous pair of boots, and two rather frightened females. On Saturday we played football on the pier, rather to the annoyance of the fishermen, who never caught a thing in three hours. The game in the afternoon was against V.C.D. – we were much fitter and scored an easy win, 31-0. The most memorable feat being Duncan’s five tries. Indeed, there was almost a trend of “Give it to Duncan. Go boy”, while the writer stood still and watched. I should mention here that Denis Ginn (an Old Student to the uninitiated) turned out at short notice and acquitted himself nobly, finally being booked in Yarmouth for speeding, having a number plate deficient in numbers and having no road tax. Neil was meanwhile imbibing alcohol to deaden the pain, both the Yarmouth and Lowestoft Hospitals having no one capable of taking X-rays. He was propped up for two days with a broken leg waiting for the swelling to subside prior to having the pot put on. On Sunday Archie offered a conducted tour of the “Broads” and after a hair raising ride to Wroxham, six people embarked on a so-called speed boat, whilst the others departed for a hour ostensibly to find “lunch”. Most of the trip was spent trying to turn 360 degrees at full speed ahead, and seeing how close one could get to sailing boats. The second crew embarked but had a shortened trip, Gilbertson and Saltmarsh deducing that there was “something wrong with the engine”. In the evening we went to Southwold, to an old smuggler-type pub which seemed to be surrounded by water, there to meet Mr & Mrs Ed Bennett and Tony Lount (61/63). Need I say more! By Monday morning everyone was feeling rather hazy and blackened and bruised. We played Thames Mills, who seemed rather more faded and unfit, though they were to date unbeaten. Barry, at fly-half, showed his form of last year, drawing two men to send Duncan over for two tries. Just as memorable was a try by Andrew, and another by Frank Pitkin (61/63), who narrowly avoided crashing into an upright in his endeavours to score. With the score 19-0, Steve Ford was tackled and ended up with a broken leg and dislocated ankle. The final score was 19-3. Incidentally, Yarmouth Hospital again excelled themselves by diagnosing a severe sprain, whereas Norwich found out the truth.


What remains are but hazy recollections: the great kindness of Lil and Fred, who opened the bar at any hour; the fruit machine that gobbled up sixpences, which Andrew had an uncanny knack of persuading to disgorge; of the wind that always blew; chips with everything, and the sweaty liniment-smelling dressing rooms. This was a very successful first tour, and will, I hope, provide a stimulus for further like ventures in the future. John Huntley (62/63). I remember the tour well – I took Steve Ford with me to Lowestoft in my Mini Van. I broke my leg on Good Friday and Steve broke his leg on Easter Monday. How were we to get Home? In the end Peter Gilbertson drove my van with Steve and myself, both in some discomfort, home to Cheshire. Pete then went back to London on the train from Manchester. The biggest problem I had, was that the X.Ray team at Lowestoft Hospital were on Holiday over Easter!!!!!!!!!!!! I had to wait until the Monday before the leg could be reset and put in plaster. To deaden the pain, the lads kept bringing me pints of beer!!! This was OK until I had to go to the loo……….very difficult and painful. I found this picture which I don’t believe you will have seen because it has not been published until now. The picture was taken before the game on the Easter Monday. Me on crutches and Steve unaware of what was about to happen to him.

Personnel on the picture are:Back row L to R:- Neil Hampson, Frank Bibby, Peter Gilbertson, Andrew Finn-Kelcey, Pete Pharoah, Bob. Kemball, Barry Kempen, Frank Pitkin, Geoff. Probyn, Denis Ginn, David Saltmarsh. Front Row L to R.:- John Huntley, Duncan Robinson, Steve Ford, Archie Andrews, Les.Hawksworth. Neil Hampson (62/64)


Why write letters to the Press... I print here an extract from a letter sent by Bernard Lewis (63/65) to the Farmers Weekly in January 2014. It appears that they never reproduced any part of it, however, I am sure, the contents and story about what Bernard did in his career, will be of interest to all Old Shuttleworthians. In 1965 I managed to get a National Diploma in Agriculture at Shuttleworth Agricultural College. Then I went back working on local farms and didn’t really know what the future held for me. By chance in July 1969 I had an interview with Noel Tritton, the Gas Council Senior Agricultural Officer. With his help I started work on the western end of the 36” Diameter pipeline (No4 Feeder Main, Bacton – Alrewas.) Two years earlier many farmers near Alrewas had a bad experience with a pipeline built by West Midlands Gas. (This added to my problem) On my first pipeline as a Farmer Liaison Officer, this section near Alrewas was full of farming problems, not least the high water table and a lot of running sand. Having tried to give you the background to how I started working on large steel gas pipelines, in November 1970 I was given a permanent position in Gas Council (H.Q. at Hinckley, near Leicester). For my next pipeline I was to be based in Woodhall Spa, working on the middle section of the 36” Diameter pipeline being constructed from Wisbech to the River Trent in 1971. I was one of the three Farmer Liaison Officers on this contract. I was based at Woodhall Spa and I was on the section from Bicker to Hatton. The land from Wisbech up to the River Witham is flat, fertile and very well farmed. The job went well and in August the contractors (Laings) moved to Theddlethorpe to lay approximately 22 miles of 30” Diameter pipeline to the Hatton Compound. For the next twenty years I helped sort out many pipeline agricultural problems all over England and Wales. I was back in Lincolnshire again working on two 42” pipelines (in 1986 and 1991, I think). The first pipeline was built from the River Humber down to Hatton and the second pipeline was laid from Hatton down to Peterborough. I really enjoyed my work for British Gas (was Gas Council) until the end of 1993, when I was made redundant, along with twenty five thousand other workers in the Gas Industry. Twenty years on, you might be thinking why I am now putting pen to paper!! Well I have the greatest respect for all the arable farmers in Lincolnshire and I think I am one of the few people who could, and should, pay them the following tribute:From my first day working in Lincolnshire, all the farmers told me:“We don’t want this pipeline. We know we can’t stop it. We will not put any obstacles in your way and the quicker you can get off our land the happier we will be.” My colleagues, the contractors and I very much respected this approach from these farmers and I would like to think that we did a good job on their land, as quickly as possible. Noel Tritton, the man who set me on in July 1969, was well respected by every farmer he met; very sadly he died in 1979. Hopefully you will publish some part of this letter in your columns. Well done Bernard, at least you tried your best to pay tribute to the farming community with whom you worked. Bernard later had a copy of this letter sent on to the Chairman of Lincolnshire NFU, who never even acknowledged receipt of it.


Undaunted, Bernard had another go at getting his views heard about the Flooding in Somerset. He read a piece in the Daily Mail and sent them a letter expressing his forthright views. Again he got no response and nothing of his letter was published. Once more Bernard tried the same letter on the Daily Telegraph, his Local Paper and even sent it to the NFU Chairman in Somerset. Nothing. Rather than publish this letter in these pages, I think I need to explain to our readers that the wording used in the letter was quite abrupt and some of the facts, I am told by my Somerset resident friend, were not strictly correct. I am not in the least bit surprised at the nil response from any publisher. I have discussed this with Bernard and I believe he understands my views on the subject. There must be lessons to be learnt from all this:1) Always get your facts right. Do careful research before putting pen to paper. 2) Be polite however strongly you feel about a matter. The cool, calm and factual arguer will always win the day. 3) Write fluently and get help if you find it hard to express your views. Please don’t let me stop all you budding letter writers having a go. As Editor/Co-ordinator of this publication I really do want your letters – you can be as rude as you like to me, after all I’m not the National Press. Tim.

Can anyone remember these characters? They loved their football and took it very seriously! The picture was supplied by Colin Racey.


This is another piece of history sent in by Colin Racey. A letter I guess no one else kept. Can you imagine in this day and age, that every student would get a personally typed letter with the College Account, reminding him (no hers in those days) of the start date of the next term. Not to mention the invitation to Coffee, not by the Principal but by the Founder herself. -----------I-----------

Wife texts husband on a cold winters morning; “Windows frozen,won't open." Husband texts back; “Gently pour some lukewarm water over it and then gently tap edges with hammer”. Wife texts back 5 minutes later: “Computer really messed up now.”




Brian Finnerty talks to Richard Hirst (80/83), a year after a devastating fire and pollution incident at his Norfolk farm Lambing is a special time on any farm but particularly so for one Norfolk farming family this year. The arrival of new lambs at Mill Farm, Ormesby St Margaret, brings to an end a traumatic 12 months for Richard Hirst and his family, caused by an arson attack on their farm buildings just as lambing was about to start. As well as causing damage worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, the fire put lives at risk, caused a major pollution event and raised questions about how such incidents are handled. Now Richard is hoping some good will come out of the situation by offering guidance to farmers so they can be better prepared to handle an emergency situation He has spoken at NFU branch meetings about his experiences and he has been working with the NFU and the Environment Agency (EA) on a guidance note that sets out where responsibility lies during and after a pollution incident, how farmers can prepare for when the worst does happen, and what action they can take during an incident. It was about 3am on Monday 24 March last year that the fire broke out in a potato store at Mill Farm, adjacent to a building where 75 ewes had just been taken for lambing. It had been burning for about 45 minutes when Richard got up and noticed the flames from the farmhouse about a mile away. After calling the fire brigade the immediate priority was rescuing the sheep, before moving farm machinery, including a sprayer, to safety. Dealing with the incident would have been stressful enough, but worse was to come. The intense heat caused an adjacent chemical store to melt, containing about 400 litres of chemicals, including 120 litres of Roundup. When the fire service turned up they sprayed large amounts of water onto a gas tank, as they were concerned about it exploding, and that led to the chemicals leaching into a drainage ditch and a water course leading to the nearby Ormesby Broad. During such an incident, the fire service is responsible for controlling any fire and assesses the risks associated with actions that can be taken to limit pollution. The EA is responsible for managing the pollution risks once on site and should take what action it deems necessary. One


point Richard wanted to highlight is that the overall legal responsibility rests with the farmer, as the operator of the site. “This means you are entitled to discuss the EA’s proposed interventions. You have the local knowledge so, if you believe other measures may be more effective, raise this with the officers on site. Together you can agree the best course of action suited to the particular incident,” he said. In his case he believes time was unfortunately lost because, during the confusion of the incident, it took more than two hours before EA staff on site made contact with him. It then took time to block a culvert, under the farm drive, to try and stop the chemical spreading. “I think, by then, the worst of the damage had been done. The chemical was heading down this main drain toward the Broad,” said Richard, former NFU county chairman and council delegate. “As a consequence, the main drain had to be blocked off for six weeks.” Dealing with the pollution incident also highlighted a flaw in the farm’s emergency response plan, which Richard said other farmers should consider. “The plan failed in the area of who to call to clear up waste dirty water. The company I rang asked for £35,000 up front before they would come onto the site, which they said I could pay for on a credit card,” he said. “Instead I asked a neighbour who does some slurry carting, to come in and he was absolutely brilliant. The whole way that was dealt with just extended the time it took before we could start pumping water away. It would have been better if the EA had been able to arrange that immediately.” Eventually about 150 lorry loads were needed to remove the contaminated water, with Richard sacrificing ten hectares of sugar beet so there was somewhere for the water to go. OHES Environmental, a company brought in by Richard’s insurance company, NFU Mutual, suggested using mobile carbon filters to strip the chemical out from water courses. A trial proved successful so a carbon filter was set up on the edge of Ormesby Broad, cleaning up the water without any impact on the local water supply. Richard hopes that approach can be used in future pollution incidents. As well as the shock of the fire itself, and the worry about whether the sheep would survive – about 50 of the 75 sheep were saved – it also took several weeks before the threat of prosecution was lifted. This is because the Environment Agency is under a duty to gather evidence and ask questions in case a prosecution is deemed in the public interest. “Everything I said to Environment Agency officials during the incident was written down, as if I was giving a statement. It did feel threatening, even though I knew we’d done nothing wrong,” said Richard. “It took about a fortnight for them to let us know they were not going to prosecute, so I had that going through the back of my mind the whole time. It was a hugely stressful situation anyway.” Richard estimates the incident cost £1.5 million in total, “and some of my family’s sanity.” That includes £750,000 for building replacement, £700,000 for the environmental clean-up and £75,000 for interruption of business. Most of that was covered by NFU Mutual insurance. Richard’s key points for farmers Make sure your farm buildings are valued regularly and correctly insured. “We had our buildings re-valued three years previously and, up to that point, we had been under-insured. We would have faced a significant financial penalty if we were under-insured.” Review your emergency action plan and test it regularly. Ask the fire brigade and the Environment Agency to your farm to make sure it covers all eventualities. Make use of NFU Mutual’s Risk Management service as well. Make sure you have adequate public liability insurance in place. You are responsible for the pollution, whatever the circumstances, under the ‘polluter pays’ principle.


Freshly planted ferns in the Pulhamite lined tunnels

Continuing work on the Swiss Garden gives the Grotto & Fernery new life Undoubtedly the one of the highlights of the Swiss Garden at Shuttleworth is the surprising interior of the Grotto & Fernery. Regency design and later Victorian embellishments, it includes dramatic Pulhamite lined tunnels that are the perfect setting for ferns and other shade-loving plants that volunteers and staff have been adding this week. (Early May 2015) Within the glazed extensions framed by Lord Ongley’s beautiful wrought ironwork are more exotic flowering plants and tree ferns suited to a warm and sunny environment, including four


large Strelitzia reginae, contrasting beautifully with the more delicate fronds of tree ferns, Streptocarpus varieties and further light-tolerant ferns. The descent to the Grotto & Fernery from the Swiss Cottage consists of two steep banks, which offer yet another micro-climate and opportunities for an altogether different type of planting, which acts as an introduction to the selection of plants inside. Since the building was restored in 2013/14, plans have been afoot to plant up these three distinct areas of the Grotto & Fernery in a manner which will reflect the garden’s historical planting and balance it with the desire to provide year-round interest in one of the garden’s most sheltered locations. As the plants mature, the Grotto & Fernery will once again become one of the Swiss Garden’s leading lights, adding extra interest to this stunning structure. The Swiss Garden is open seven days a week, and guided tours can be booked in advance by calling 01767 627927, and upcoming Swiss Garden events can be found on the website at

Planting in the warm sunny extension to the Grotto & Fernery Images: © Darren Harbar Photography, courtesy of the Shuttleworth Collection Editor: Could I suggest to all readers that they should make a special effort to visit the Swiss Gardens again. Like so many past students you may not have been back, let alone seen these gardens since you left college. Not many years ago, despite being full of interest and ancient grandeur, they had become overgrown and in an advanced state of decay. You will be amazed at what has been achieved by the restoration team. Many of the features that had become lost from view are now back in their full glory. It is now a real “Must see”. Additional information on the latest developments at the Swiss Garden can be found on the website at:


S.C.A Merchandise This Year’s Very Special Offer A superb print of this beautiful Water Colour of the College viewed from the Warren and painted to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Shuttleworth Unmounted: Size: 17" x 13". Cost: only £5.00 inc p&p

Polo Shirts. This popular item features the Shuttleworth crest on Navy Blue. For £15.00 each inc p&p


Rugby Shirts In Navy Blue with a white collar and the crest. Just £25.00 each inc p&p.

Both items above in XX Large, X Large, Large and Medium sizes.

Lapel Badges still available at £2.00 each inc p&p All orders to :First Call — Sarah Perrett. 01458 251523 or e-mail: or Margaret Curry at the College. 01767 626222 or e-mail: All cheques payable to Shuttleworth College Association - with Orders please.


The following pieces are taken from the New “Halls” Newsletter May 2015. On the bottom of the front page it says, All the News from living at Shuttleworth College. Chloe’s water world. During my first year at Halls, I was made to feel comfortable and welcome in anything and everything that anyone did. They were all kind and friendly and allowed me to join in, helping me to create the best of friendships with people I will never forget. All having a laugh, in things like Secret Santa and movie nights and much more in things like netball and more interactive sports games like Halls Challenge. Halls challenge is a laugh that many people talk about for hours after, creating conversation and memories of a lifetime. In my second year at Shuttleworth Halls, I have been able to carry on and progress friendships that I have created in the first year, and helped welcome all of the first years that again I have become very good friends with, these friendships will last a lifetime. Before coming to Shuttleworth I spent time in Africa, three years ago I went to Africa with a group of 5 people to build a water irrigation system and a community garden. I am a keen Outdoor Ed student that enjoys more of the water sports side of things rather than the land based, however it is all good fun. Going to Africa and having the hobby of water sports has made me the bubbly and friendly person I am today, allowing me to get on and become part of a friendly bunch that I call my family in halls. The Doctors Notebook. It is in the student’s accommodation here I feel I’ve grown as a person within the past year more than my upper school years. Having to spend the week away from home I’ve had to tackle more responsibilities than before, such as having to keep my room tidy and getting myself up in the morning. It’s an honest belief of mine that it would have been better for me to come here earlier. It was quite quickly that I was able to make friends, especially since there was another student in Halls who recommended Shuttleworth to me. Before coming I was terrified of not fitting in, which to be honest is quite likely with my eccentricities. Now that it’s second year I feel much more confident around people, who appear to actively enjoy the fact that I don’t always blend in quite so easily. The highlights of the Halls experience have undoubtedly been the Christmas and Summer Balls. These parties have had a certain charm to them that I always find endearing. Of course, these aren’t the only fun events at Shuttleworth, with games of manhunt going on deep into the evening and the Halls challenges with the five blocks fiercely competing against one another. In the years to come it’ll be incredibly hard to forget the two years that I stayed here, and perhaps the spirit of Halls will always stay with me in some capacity. Doc, with no proper name! The Country Life. My name is Lewis Cooper, I’m 17 and currently studying Fisheries Management at Shuttleworth College. I currently work part time for “Nash Tackle”, which is a tackle company that manufactures and ships to shops all over Europe and some other parts of the planet. Ironically it’s based in a little county called Essex. I studied at a local school nearby and I was in the Nash Academy at school which was run by Kevin Nash and Alan Blair. They gave us a pool of knowledge and I had a wake-up call at the tender age of 14 and decided to utilise the skills they were teaching. I have now gone on to do all sorts of cast stuff which involves filming, helping out on set and even quality testing the new Siren R3 that has just hit the shops. Through all this exciting stuff I’m still in education and trying hard to get my grades, that and juggling social life, constantly fishing and being a student governor, things get pretty heavy sometimes, although I wouldn’t have it any other way. Many people ask me “What’s your favourite species you like to catch”, the same answer applies every time, as long as I catch it in beautiful surroundings and in an interesting manner, I’m happy doing just that!


Whether it’s trout on a deep cold reservoir, Perch on a hazy evening, or carp on dark nights down a big pit, being there is just about enough for me! I’m a fan of keeping things simple; though doing things properly, after all, what’s the point in casting it out if it’s not perfect? With my particular lifestyle I’m always on the go and sometimes have no means of transport, so I treat my Carp Rods like my mobile phone... It comes everywhere with me! Their pack down length is made for my style of angling! At the moment I’m targeting Barbell on a very difficult river, however keeping it consistent, I’m hoping it won’t be long till you guys see the result. Harry, who's article about how he's settling in, says that having a big screen TV makes his room a home. It has also helped him make friends, with his room becoming a centre for gaming and socialising. Harry is known to have a messy room by all the wardens. Harry said that since being in halls he has gained skills and has become more independent, doing his own washing cooking and looking after himself. Clym sitting on his tractor pillow and reading the Farmers Guardian has made his room a mecca for all things ag. A'bby now in her forth and final year with us in halls says that her photo wall and the supportive staff makes her room a home. She has shown real dedication to halls and this year is head student warden helping settle the other students in and supporting the warding team. Katherine and Emily have made their rooms home by decorating the doors, wardrobes and cupboards with photos, pictures and wrapping paper.

And Here are some rather nice Do’s and Dont’s Do get out and socialise, you never know what you are going to miss! Do keep clean and hygienic- no one likes a smelly halls. Do get to know the international students The Norwegians loved our breakfasts - especially Bacon and eggs. Do learn to say Goodnight in different languages. This keeps Will happy when he wardens. Bring lots of tea bags! A cup of tea and a chat will get you far in Halls Wear wellies, Shuttleworth is the only place that wellies are fashionable.

Don’t tell Jo its just banter!! She will call you into her office and tell you how disappointed she is with you. Don’t let yourself get caught up in silly arguments – positive vibes all the way. Don’t annoy Holly, she is the Hulk in disguise. Don’t tell Bacon to turn down his music, it will never happen, so don’t bother trying. Don’t go to the restaurant in your pyjamas – Jane will get upset – and Jane feeds us. Students 2015




The first installment of our Arctic adventure ended with my wife and myself attending the annual Wainwright village Thanksgiving festival. You may be wondering why a Native Inupiat village in Alaska, should have such an English sounding name. Several landmarks and villages in Arctic Alaska are so named. In this case Captain F.W. Beechey named the inlet and river mouth in 1826 after his first officer Lt. John Wainwright. In 1825, Beechey was appointed to command HMS Blossom. His task was to explore the Bering Strait at the same time as Franklin and Parry operating from the east through the Northwest Passage. In the summer of 1826, he passed through the Bering Strait and a barge from his ship reached Point Barrow, which he also named. The Native name for the Wainwright is Alak. The Pilgrims held the first Thanksgiving celebration in America in Massachusetts, in the 17th century, and although it is not a traditional Inupiat celebration, they never pass up a chance to get together to dance, sing, and share food, so the holiday suits them very well. The sun left us soon after Thanksgiving in late November, and although there was an Alpen glow around mid * ) )!' /& % irect sunlight again for about eight weeks. Much has been written about the affects of sunlight depravation on non-natives and I agree, it is different, but neither of us found it depressing. We both found the adjustment to continuous sunlight in May more disturbing, especially when it comes to getting to sleep. The whole teaching staff, except for the two Inupiaq language teachers and Dorothy Ahlalook, who was married to an Inupiaq man, left the village for various family and Christmas gatherings in the lower 48 states and I must confess that it was inspiring to see the sun again, even if we had to get above 10,000 feet to do it.

Mid winter in the Arctic is not only dark but understandably, very cold. Temperatures well below zero are the norm, anything above minus 30 C. is OK, and minus 25C. is almost balmy in mid winter. Remarkable as it may seem Christmas thaws are not unheard of in the Arctic, in fact I once called my daughter in late December when she was living in Wisconsin and learned that it was 25 degrees C colder there than it was in the Arctic. Since we were on the coast, we had not only to contend with cold, but also wind and the dreaded ,) &!$-. Thus it was that on one windy January evening we experienced a temperature of minus 78C ! That sort of cold can be lethal in a matter of m '& % *!'/$ !& #' & * dressed, and pretty uncomfortable even if you are. I was so dressed one bitter evening as we walked about 150 yards from our house to visit friends. The problem was that my eyes were watering and the tears instantly froze my eyelashes together, I could thaw them by holding my ungloved fingers on them, but as soon as I took my fingers away, they refroze. My wife wears glasses all the time, so she was better protected and thus able to lead me along, temporarily blinded. It was then that I really learned the value modern of Arctic clothing. The Alaskan Inupiats and the Canadian Inuit historically relied on Caribou hide for winter clothing, one layer worn fur side against the skin, and one layer fur side out facing the weather.


Here but sadly it never stops shedding hair.

To the right is an example of a ceremonial, although entirely serviceable, Native Arctic ,parky- &he fur ruff on the hood is vital to avoid frostbite on the exposed face. The ruff on this parky is wolverine, taken from the forelegs and over the shoulder for women and back legs and across the rump for men. Wolf fur is used also, but a polar bear hide is the most impressive, as are polar bear Eskimo boots or mukluks. However tradition insists that they may only be worn by the man who killed the Polar Bear.

To the left, / $ %% d for a winter hike. The gun is for protection against Polar bears, my ruff is Russian fin c!! ) & ( $ & & % ) &/% walking around. Sheila bought the ruff from a local women and sewed it on the hood of my goose down parky. I was rather proud of it until % ! !! '" !) % , !! % )! /% $' '& ! ' %% -

Manaqtuun with wooden float for retrieving seals.


Spring is a long time arriving in the Arctic. We would hear reports of temperatures in the teens in southern Alaska and feel decidedly neglected. Today as I type on the 2nd of May, a brief reference to the U.S. weather service tells me that the temperature in our arctic village is -12 C., whereas in Anchorage a mere 700 miles to the southeast, they are basking in a comparatively tropical 15 C. It all has to do with the angle at which the sun strikes the earth. In the Arctic the angle is acute and becomes less so the closer one gets to the equator. This phenomenon is also manifest in the global change in length of the day. When the sun first rises in January, it is only above the horizon for a few minutes. As spring approaches, the length of the day increases by fifteen minutes every day, until finally, by the summer solstice there are 24 hours of sunlight. During the winter, apart from the occasional caribou, the subsistence hunting is limited to Polar Bears or Nanuq and ringed seals or Nachiq. The seals are hunted out on the sea ice in the occasional breaks or leads in the ice that are a result of the wind, tides and currents on the interface between the land fast ice that is frozen to the ocean floor and against the shoreline, and the floating pack ice, which is constantly moving. A hunter stealthily approaches an open lead in the hope he may catch the seal out on the ice, if however the seal is in the water he will clap his gloves together and then shoot the seal through the head if it "!"% '" &! ( %& & & %!' & % !& % !! & % % , ' &- it must be retrieved with a Manaqtuun, (see photo), that is attached to a long length of twine (originally rawhide). The Manaqtuun is swung around the ' & $/% head, then released to drop on the far side of the seal. Since the seal is so well endowed with blubber it conveniently floats until retrieved. The seals are hauled home on a basket sled behind a snow machine. ' & $/% $ %"! % &* !$ & % % ! & $ % & !!$ ! % !'% , where he leaves it for his wife and daughters to skin and dress out. Seal fat becomes liquid at room temperature and has several uses; Quaack or thin slices of frozen Caribou meat are dipped in seal oil for a snack, and until the arrival of Kerosene (Paraffin) houses were lit with seal oil lamps Perhaps at his point I should introduce you to Rossman Peetook. Rossman was an Elder in the village, a member of the local school board, a whaling captain, renowned hunter, and a founding member of the Eskimo Whaling commission. It was that which bought him to my classroom soon after I joined the staff at Wainwright. Rossman had heard there was an Rossman Peetook dancing with the Englishman at the school and thought he Wainright Inupiat Dance Group should introduce himself since he had been to London on the occasion of the first meeting of the International Whaling ! %% ! /% The Eskimos had not been invited, but as he told me:


, $ & & & ! %% ! ) % going to meet and that a moratorium on whaling was likely to be enacted, so we ) / tter show up and tell them that the Inupiat had been whaling for thousands of years, and that if whales were $ & $& * ) % /& !'$ ' & We also told them that there were many more whales out in the ice than their survey had indicated & */ ( $ $ !



Inupiat whalers /& #' & !) ) & &! ! ) & '% '& & * ) $ ( $* "! & " ' found us conference packages and we did get a seat at the conference & I remember Rossman as a very handsome man, and I was not surprised when I was told that he had been picked out by a Disney casting crew to play an Eskimo in a couple of films. He also got a part in a Hollywood dud, and if you ever suffered through a perfectly dreadful Steven Seagal movie entitled , * $!' - *!' )!' ( % !%% n in the role of Silook the local Eskimo tribal Chief, % ! $ &% % & $ ) $ ( $ * , %- % ! %! &* I think Rossman came as close to being a village celebrity as was possible in such an egalitarian community and although the movie was a flop he managed to take his whole family to Hawaii on the proceeds. Soon after our first meeting he showed up at the school shop and asked if he and his friend could build a freight sled in the shop. I told him it was fine by me on condition that I was allowed to help. We built the sled one Sunday afternoon and in the process I made my first Eskimo friend. Having moved around a lot, starting when I was fourteen, I learned that on finding myself in a new place, &/% best at first, to do a lot of listening. I listened as we worked and he told about the Inupiat ways and the events he had witnessed as a child or heard about from the village elders. He told me that his grandfather would hunt seal out on the ice, by waiting at a breathing hole with his rifle, sometimes for hours for the seal to come up for air. Sometimes the old man would take him along and tell him how, before guns the men would wait with a harpoon &! , & - & % . If the seal was thought to be using another breathing hole, he would send Rossman off in the semi-darkness to pee in the other holes and thereby discourage the seal from using them. I asked him how he felt about walking away from his grandfather when there might be polar bears around. He said it was pretty scary, but that his grandfather had a bigger scare one time when he was dragging a seal home across the ice with a line looped & $!' & % /% lower jaw. As he was plodding his way, with the tow line across his chest, back across the sea ice to the village, it suddenly stopped dead. He turned and saw nanuq (a polar bear) with his massive front paw on the seal! I asked Rossman what his grandfather did then, % , ( '# & I would have liked to get to know Rossman better, but it was not to be, since we were told in April that we were being moved to a village far to the west of Wainwright, in fact further west than Hawaii, though still in the North Slope Borough: the village of Point Hope. There were times when we ) $ /& %'$ ) / & $!' & * $, for me, being assigned to teach English grammar and comprehension to junior high school kids (12 + 14 year-olds) who spoke a sort of pidgin English was something of a trial, and for Sheila being threatened that she would be shot if she stepped outdoors, by a demented parent who later died of a massive brain tumor. However we now look back on that first year in the north as being one of the most memorable of our lives. All in all it was a fascinating experience, which Sheila referred to as, .like living a National Geographic Special./ $ /& & & * English farm boys who have ridden as a passenger on a dog sled as it raced across the frozen Tundra, while Alan Ahlalook, another Eskimo aquaintance, mushed them on from behind, or who has fished for tom cod through eighteen inches of Arctic river ice. We were sad to leave Wainwright, but also excited at the prospect of moving to Point Hope, one of the oldest continually inhabited villages in all the Americas, to meet new faces, places, traditions and folklore. That is basically what each of us have always done, me as a wandering farm boy, and Sheila % % ! !) $ /% $ $ !( $ & )!$ *!'/$ %& '" !$ & /ll tell you about our eight years in Point Hope or Tikigaq with the Tikigaqmiut. Next time. ind hearing from any 66/68ers at


Obituary Don Davis NDA 1961-63 Don died after a short illness on 14th October 2014. He will be fondly remembered, particularly by those of us who were together at Hill House. I remember him as a feisty scrum half on the rugby field. Soon after leaving Shuttleworth Don went off to Uganda, then Kenya, Cameroon, Malawi, Sudan, Egypt, Tunisia, and I think a few more African countries. We kept in contact but our paths never crossed until, unbeknown to each other, we arrived at the University of Reading in October 1978 on the same MSc course. After Reading Don worked on World Bank Development Projects in Nigeria, for FAO and the European Union. He had spells in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and Armenia, but spent the latter part of his career mainly in Eastern Europe, Albania, Kosovo, Romania, and Armenia. Up to this time Don was a bachelor, but in Albania in the early 1990’s, he met Admira who was his translator/counterpart; they married in the late 1990’s. They had a home at Aldbourne near Marlborough but spent a lot of time in Rome where Admira still worked for FAO. Don continued to do consultancy work until shortly before his death. Sadly I was unable to attend Don’s funeral but a mutual friend from our Reading days did, he wrote to me later saying “If there’s such a thing as a good funeral, Don’s was one of them”. Frank Bibby (61/63)

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