Shuttleworth College Alumni Newsletter

Page 1

The Shuttleworth College Alumni Newsletter Autumn 2017

Shuttleworth College Alumni Annual Newsletter

Contents 1

Chairman’s Report


Editors Report


College Vice Principal’s Report


Robert Grindal - A Visit from the Vet


Keith Burgess -Two Pommies Go Walkabout


AGM Minutes




Members News


Octogenarian walks Thames for Charity




Committee details / your feedback and stories

Chairman’s Report farming, others with a less well defined Welcome to the autumn 2017 newsletter. It does not seem that long ago that I sat down to write my report for the last newsletter back in January of this year yet quite a bit has






College goes from strength to strength.

connection with agriculture. If you are involved with a local business and feel you could offer a visit for some of the students, please let either myself or the College know








Mike Johnston’s report, which you can find

My thanks as usual go to the rest of the

further on in the magazine, is more than

committee, without their input the SCA

encouraging. It is amazing how, with the

would not exist. At this year’s AGM they all

hard work and determination of the staff

volunteered again to put in another twelve

and students the College has been able to

month shift. If you ever feel that you would

bounce back from the dark days of the late

like to help out as a committee member

1990s when it seemed all was lost for the

please contact me; we are always on the

old place.

lookout for fresh faces and news ideas. If

As the Alumni body we try to work closely with the College offering whatever support we can. This sometimes comes in the form of financial backing for various projects either for the College or the Student body. We also look at the broader picture and how our support can help the longer term goals. I am sure we all remember during our time at Shuttleworth some of the trips we made to various businesses, some

committees are not your thing but you still want to help then please send in some news about yourself or your friends for inclusion in the magazine. It could be a useful spot for an ‘advertorial’ about your own business. This magazine goes to over 400 people; not everyone





agriculture but most have a countryside connection. We have traditionally shunned away from direct advertising within the pages but we could be persuaded!

Sarah Perrett HND 77-80


Editorial Introduction Dear Readers I must thank Paddy (Patrick Godwin) for his help with getting the Newsletters out to print; thanks to those of you who have sent news and other print-worthy material; keep sending it in! I have been wracking my brain in an effort to find something suitable to write in this introduction, but with little success; perhaps a few lines on the revival of the College?, or a piece about the diverse paths followed by Alumni (still old students to me), or lengthy article on the pros and cons of Brexit : I think not. Instead I ask you to read and hopefully enjoy the Newsletter, i.e. the result of contribution and collaboration between a group of people who remember Shuttleworth as a great place to learn, make life-long friends and, have fun. Thank you Mrs Shuttleworth. Long may it continue. And now back to the mundane; I have moved to Suffolk, so please send any correspondence to :Graeme Brown OND 77/80 25 Church Lane Oulton Lowestoft Suffolk NR32 3JN E-mail –

Mobile – 07775 331830 Via online form –

I wish you all a Happy and Peaceful Christmas and New Year

Note from the Editorial team As an editing team we would like to thank all those who have helped to get this edition of the newsletter put together. A special thanks to everyone who has sent in contributions, please keep up your good work. We hope you enjoy the read. Please forgive us if you find any errors or mistakes, or if you think some things have been left out. We would welcome any feedback as we try and improve on the content with every edition. 2


effective and focused upon employment,

the new academic year. Recruitment has

delivering high level technical educational

been very good and we have enrolled 700


full time students – the best ever. Our biggest problem is where to put them all! Part-time short courses and horticultural courses are looking very strong this year. We have revised the curriculum so that the

We currently have 80 students studying RHS

lower level students follow a broader

courses from Level 1 to Level 3, with a

programme of study which widens the

further 52 enrolments already for RHS

students’ opportunities. Our strategy has

courses starting in January 2018, which

been to raise the centre of gravity towards

reflects our position in the market place in

higher skills and that has been reflected in

comparison with our competitors. Our

our recruitment. Animal Sciences and

commercial and bespoke programme short

Agriculture continue to be very strong and

course unit is thriving. We are confident

I’m delighted that Equine and Floristry

that we are providing high quality training

seem to have bounced back. Horticulture

that meets employers’ needs and the

and Countryside full time numbers continue

feedback from students and employers is

to be low. It may well be that this is the


natural direction of travel. Our research shows us that the higher skilled Level 3 and above students secure the best jobs which

Recruitment onto the Foundation Degree in

is one of our core objectives. Feedback

Animal Management has been very good

from employers tells us that Level 3 is the

again with 24 starts in Year 1, which is back

“pool of talent” from which they wish to

in line with plans and the Agriculture

recruit. The new funding arrangements

Foundation Degree has eight new starts, so

challenge us to create a curriculum that is

is starting to gain momentum. We have also 3

started an HND in Outdoor Education this

over 90% (against a National Average of

year which has enrolled well in its first year

81%) and is even more impressive

meaning that we have over 70 HE students

considering our specialist subjects

on site. I am really pleased with our

(Agriculture, Animal Sciences etc) which

developing relationship with University of

has improved by 2.5% to over 94% (against

Bedfordshire which seems to go from

a National Average of 84%). I had not

strength to strength and, together with the

considered the implications of these figures

Trust, we are discussing the opportunities

previously, but our achievement is by far

that we can deliver for research projects.

the highest in the Eastern Region and puts us alongside the

The College feels to be in a very strong position within our local and regional

top four colleges in the country delivering land based education and training.

community. However, our aim has to be to establish our reputation nationally so that we can secure a sustainable college into the future.

We are really pleased to have been able to sign the lease with the Trust. It has put us in a position where we are much more confident and will be able to invest in the

During the last year we have invested in the Halls of Residence to improve the conditions and also the safety and welfare of our resident students. We have invited Landex to renew our processes and procedures to ensure that we are offering the best possible experience as we have attracted students from Canada, Latvia and Spain this year and thus have additional responsibility for their well-being.

campus. The plan is to invest in the region of ÂŁ5m in the next few years. We have already invested a substantial amount at Kingshill, developing the farm and also some of our teaching accommodation. However, the priority is to develop our animal science learning space which is currently very poor. Planning approval has already been granted and we are revisiting the costings in preparation for going out to tender with a planned ‘Opening Event’ in September 2019.

Achievement rates for last year were outstanding. Overall achievement has improved from the previous year by 2% to


Robert Grindal - A Visit from the Vet The Saab Station Wagon swung into the farmyard.

booking them in for the flu jab. This, I realised, was easier said than done. Father,

Mr Newey, the vet had arrived. He was a man of stern appearance and few words, most of those scathing and matters had to be ‘just so’ when he arrived so that his valuable time was not wasted. Over the years fellow farmers had learnt from experience not to question any of his bills as he always discovered an extra box or two of penicillin that he’d overlooked when originally preparing their account, and invariably adjusted it upwards. The patients this afternoon were an Ayrshire cow and 15 cats. The cats were farm cats surviving on an ample supply of farm rodents; their diet supplemented only by a quantity of milk dished out at the completion of each morning and evening milking. So the cats were wild, only coming into relatively close human contact when absolutely necessary.

Fred and I spent most of the morning ‘on safari’ attempting to corral animals that had no intention of being apprehended, despite their somewhat debilitated state. Wearing insufficient protective clothing we cornered our prey in various farm-buildings and sheds and bundled them into hessian sacks. Two or three of them were fortunate enough to get their very own bag whereas the rest were in 3s and 4s. Once in the bags they quietly awaited further developments.

During the winter when the cows remained in their shed overnight, hay bales were stacked on a slope at one end of the shed for distribution to the cattle later in the evening. The cats would start gathering well before the end of milking and climb onto the top of these bales waiting impatiently for their free hand-out. One evening, the stack must have been more unstable than normal as the lack of careful weight distribution by the felines caused the bales to topple over, pitching 3 less fortunate animals into the large galvanised water tank situated nearby. I quickly whisked them out but this constituted the sum-total of ‘handling’ any of them had ever received.

‘Hold her nose then’, not a polite request but up to his usual standard. Thumb in one nostril and fingers in the other and hold her head up; by no means an easy job with a half-ton animal. But determined to give the vet no cause for complaint, I held on grimly, whilst he administered the drench.

This particular winter the potentially deadly cat-flu had arrived and father felt we should give them a fighting chance of survival by

Then on to round two and I would have been quite happy to have stayed in my corner. Unfortunately, this was not an

The Vet, fully protected against any eventuality, clad in wellingtons, waterproof overall and hat, rubber gloves and carrying a bottle of medication for the bovine patient, arrived in the cowshed.


option. Who was going to extract the cats one at a time from the bags? I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to be the medical man. Surprisingly, even the vet was allocating some of his valuable time contemplating the conundrum. Perhaps I wasn’t going into the ‘acceptable losses’ column after all. The decision, based on selfpreservation, was made; he was going to inject the cats through the bag! This reminded me of trying to pin the tail on the donkey and surely this wasn’t recommended veterinary practice? Whilst the vet returned to his car to extract the vials of vaccine I enquired of father how

the vet hoped to distribute the injections fairly. With four cats in a bag and injecting one at a time the odds seemed stacked against it. ‘Ah, that’s why Veterinary training takes 5 years, Rob; they get thoroughly trained in such techniques’. He said it with a smile and a wink; as the vet returned fully loaded and ready for action. No-one knew if they all got a dose and how many got more than their fair share but we’d done our best and no-one had been savaged. With a collective sigh of relief, the vet disrobed and departed. All that remained to be done was ……………….yes, you’ve got it………….let the cats out of the bag! Robert Grindal NDA 65/67

The SCA Annual Prize Draw! Your chance of winning a big prize! Every year at the AGM we draw 3 prizes.

1st £250, 2nd £150, 3rd £50

Cost is just £10 per Annum and you can buy as many tickets as you wish! Details and entries from Mike Williams: E-mail


Keith Burgess -Two Pommies Go Walkabout Last autumn brought us back to Western Australia after a thirty two year absence. We came to visit the parts that were inaccessible last time owing to dirt roads and no tourist infrastructure. A lot has changed but the weather and remoteness remains. The trip was fantastic - real 'fair dinkum' as they would say here. Ironically, we started our holiday by flying north to Oslo and spending the day visiting Norway's capital city. We started with the FRAM museum which houses the boat of the same name and was the one which Amunsden used in his quest to be the first person to reach the South Pole beating the British Explorer, Scott, by three months and living to tell the tale. We also visited the Resistance Museum which depicts the bravery and suffering of the Norwegian people during WWII. Other places of interest were the Royal Palace, the Nobel Peace Museum and the striking Opera House. The only thing that we didn't like about this charming city was the grey and cold weather so we were much happier when we touched down in Kununurra in the far north of Western Australia, four flights later via Doha, Perth and Broome. The vast state of WA covers over one third of the whole of Australia and is approximately the same size as the whole of Western Europe. So, with limited time available we decided to concentrate on the Kimberley Region in the extreme north west of the state. Kununurra is the gateway to this sparsely populated region of just 34,000 in an area three times the size of the UK. This equates to less than one person per square mile of which 40% are of Aboriginal descent. Kununurra owes its prosperity to the damming of the River Ord in the 1970's, which in turn formed Lake Argyle, a huge body of water twenty one times the size of Sydney Harbour. This damming enabled 14,000 hectares of farmland to be irrigated and the production of sixty different types of crops including sandalwood (the most profitable), melons, pumpkins, bananas, mangoes, cotton and sugar cane. The lake is also a huge magnet for fishermen and tourists. Besides agriculture and tourism the area is also home to the Argyle mine which is the largest diamond mine in the world and the world's third largest producer of diamonds. The farming and mining might be impressive but our visit was to see the vast landscapes, wild orange sunsets, plummeting gorges and waterfalls, craggy mountain ranges and the red earth as far as the eye can see of the remote Kimberley region.

We started by driving eighty miles out of Kununurra to a vast cattle station called El Questro, a green oasis-like place amidst the bush and red dirt. This station, of one million acres, which


supports 3-5,000 head of Brahman and Shorthorn cattle is by no means the largest in the area but is one of the more scenic and served as the setting for the recent film 'Australia' starring Nicole Kidman. Amazingly, the whole station was bought for just 65 pence per acre by a British family in 1982 who believed that tourists would one day want to visit the area. How right they were. Today, the station is still home to chiselled stock men, not so friendly crocodiles, giant red escarpments of sandstone cliffs and a very comfortable homestead with six cottages overlooking the dramatic Pentecost River. Another great adventure was to fly over the Bungle Bungles, a vast 360 million year old black and orange sandstone bee-hived shape rock structure and then walk through its breathtaking chasms and gorges. Kept secret until the mid-1980's it has now become recognized as one of Australia's great natural wonders.

From El Questro we flew by light aircraft to our next destination, Berkeley River Lodge on the remote Kimberley coastline. With no road access this unique place offers vast empty beaches, fascinating river cruises to see the area's unique flora and fauna and the opportunity of helicopter flights to swim in remote billabongs. After enjoying a wonderful 'Crocodile Dundee' adventure in this isolated area of raw beauty we moved south 650 miles to the small city of Broome. This city owes its prosperity to the pearling industry set up in the 1850's when the first European settlers discovered vast beds of Giant Silver-Lip Pearl oysters, the largest pearl shell in the world. This in turn lured fortune seekers from China, Japan and other Asian countries and so the city has a very Asiatic feel to this day. Then in 1869 the underground cable linking Australia to Indonesia and the rest of the world came ashore on the now named 'Cable Beach' where we stayed. Later in 1942 Broome was bombed heavily by the Japanese with substantial loss of life and evacuation for the survivors and it wasn't until more recently that the English building magnate, Lord McAlpine put Broome on the tourist map by developing some tourist infrastructure.

From Broome we flew to Perth, another 1500 miles south (the distances are vast and sometimes unimaginable). We then drove further south to the Margaret River area renowned for its fine wines and beautiful scenery. This area has the most reliable climate of any wine region in Australia but it wasn't until 1967 that the first vineyards were planted. We really enjoyed the local wines, beautiful scenery and magnificent beaches which we were able to access crocodile-free.


Well the scenery was magnificent, the bush-tucker delicious and the welcome very genuine. Certainly a place we would recommend for a fantastic adventure. Bruce and Sheila (AKA Keith & Helen Burgess) NDA 70/72

Results of the previous Quiz:The quiz provided the first letters of common garden or farmland birds; below are the birds we were looking for; Great Tit, Starling, Blackbird, Robin/Raven, Wren, Cuckoo, Chaffinch, Tree Creeper, Pied Wagtail, Green Woodpecker, Collared Dove, Hedge Sparrow, Tawny Owl, Mistle Thrush, House Martin, Kestrel, Yellowhammer, Kingfisher, Dunnock, Jackdaw.

Congratulations to Anthony Ducker (NDA 59/61) of Langworth, Lincoln whose name was drawn out of the hat and won the £20 prize. This year’s quiz can be found on page 23.


SHUTTLEWORTH COLLEGE ASSOCIATION MINUTES OF THE AGM – SATURDAY 13TH MAY 2017 Present: Sarah Perrett (Chairman), Tony Abbott, Mike Williams, Patrick Godwin, Tim Bryce,

Richard Infield, Nick Drury, Eric Yates Apologies: Charlotte Scott-Osborn, Graeme Brown, Claire Van Leersum

1. The minutes of the 2016 AGM were accepted and approved. 2. Chairman’s Report: Sarah Perrett reported that the new website was looking good and it was hoped to increase the content. She also thanked the committee members for their help and support during the year. 3. Treasurer’s Report: Mike Williams circulated the statement of revenue and expenditure, capital account and bank accounts. There was an excess of expenditure over revenue of £550.57 but there was a ‘one-off’ cost for the new website of £2520.00. As with all businesses and organisations we have very little interest on our deposits (£326.43). 4. IT Manager’s Report: ‘Paddy’ Godwin indicated that we have received 12 less subscriptions this year (not related to members passing on). Whilst it was not many in the big scheme of things it was worth keeping an eye on. He also reported on the launch of the new website: 5. Editor’s Report: Unfortunately Graeme Brown had to tender his apologies for the meeting but the latest newsletter has been published. Once again he has urged members to come forward with articles/photos for inclusion in the next edition. 6. Election of Officers for the ensuing year: Chairman: Sarah Perrett – proposed by Patrick Godwin, seconded by Tony Abbott Vice Chairman: Tony Abbott – proposed by Nick Drury, seconded by Sarah Perrett Secretary: Charlotte Scott-Osborn – proposed by Eric Yates, seconded by Patrick Godwin Treasurer: Mike Williams – proposed by Tony Abbott, seconded by Sarah Perrett IT Manager: Patrick Godwin – proposed by Sarah Perrett, seconded by Nick Drury Editor: Graeme Brown – proposed by Sarah Perrett, seconded by Eric Yates Committee members: Tim Bryce, Sam Donald, Nick Drury, Eric Yates, Richard Infield, Claire Van Leersum were re-elected ‘en bloc’. 7. It was agreed that the name of the association be changed to ‘Shuttleworth College Alumni’ to more closely identify our purpose (most colleges and universities now use the name ‘Alumni’ to identify their ex-students associations). This was carried unanimously. 8. The annual draw then took place – 1st (£250) No. 12, 2nd (£150) No. 37, 3rd (£50) No. 84. 9. AOB. Tim Bryce reported that Graeme Brown has taken over the editor’s role but publication slipped due to his wife’s illness (she is now better). 79 hard copies were sent out at a cost of £3.70 each including postage (thanks to Paddy’s ‘tame’ printer!). This concluded the Annual General Meeting Tony Abbott (on behalf of Charlotte Scott-Osborn) 13 May 2017


S.C.A Merchandise Polo Shirts This popular item features the Shuttleworth Crest on Navy Blue. ÂŁ15 each including p & p

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

Rugby Shirts Navy Blue with a white collar and the crest.

Just ÂŁ27.50 each inc p&p


Another item of merchandise

A superb print of this beautiful Water Colour of the College viewed from the Warren and painted to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Shuttleworth Un-mounted: Size: 17" x 13". Cost: only £5 inc p&p

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.


Members News Jean Edge-Partington I just wanted you to know that John passed away on March 30, 2017. He leaves 3 sons, 6 grandchildren, and myself, Jean. Jean Edge-Partington

Princess Charlotte Croy-Twickel Dear Mr Brown, At long last I have got around to writing the life of my grandmother Dorothy Clotilda Shuttleworth who founded the R. O. Shuttleworth Memorial Trust, the college and all that subsequently developed. It is being printed by the Trust and we are hoping to present it at the Heritage Weekend, the 3rd September. I hope that many old and present students will be interested. It will be on sale at the Collection. Yours Charlotte Croy-Twickel

James Frater NDA 75/67 Well Patrick I assume you have just taken over from old watshisname who I was with at Shutts many moons ago. What am I doing now? Not very much really just sitting in the garden enjoying the occasional sunshine and seeing my son farming better than I did which is good, but I am also involved with R.A.B. I. Trying to raise cash for the needy and hoping that I won't need to benefit in the future. We are also heading to Iceland in September on a farming trip I am told that I will need to take booze with me as it is prohibitive over there. Last year we went to eastern Canada with the same company which was interesting but long haul trips are getting uncomfortable and we might have to stay in the U.K. if there is such a country left after Brexit . Harvest has not started in the north yet, even the early ground seemed to be awhile away but sheep are motoring on so there is still plenty to do! But I might watch the tomatoes grow for a while and perhaps go and tell my son what he should be doing!! James Frater

Charles Bourns NDA 68/70 Hi! Those who remember me just a brief catch-up since leaving in 1970. I am now a Poultry farmer in Gloucestershire in partnership with my son James from my second marriage. I did marry Helen from Bedford PE college and we had a son Patrick who has a Free Range Egg farm near Stow on the Wold. 13

I have been and still am involved with the NFU and in Europe with Copa Cogeeca at present. I see Chris Webb on a regular basis; he has been having a bit of a rough time of it but is as always cheerful with it. Regards to all. Charles

Bob Grindal NDA 1963/65 Hello Graeme, You included my report of the 1963/65 reunion (which Robert and June Stilgoe kindly hosted at their Grounds Farm last year) in your last Newsletter. I'm forwarding as an attachment 'A Visit from the Vet' which you may be interested in including in the next edition. This is one of 22 true stories from my early days on my father's farm in Warwickshire which I've recently had published. If you were to consider including it in the Newsletter perhaps you could also include a comment that the Book 'No Ordinary Day' is available for purchase from Amazon Books. Thanks Kind Regards Rob Grindal

Rupert Turner NDA 62/64 Dear Graeme, In response to Patrick Godwin's plea for old students' news I am writing to update you on my life. I was at Shuttleworth in 1962/64 and I can honestly say they were some of the happiest years of my life. We had a great cohort of people, some of whom I am still in touch with thanks to John Simpson, our year co-ordinator. I still own the car I used for much of my time at the College, a 1929 Austin Seven which would actually fit through the pedestrian door into the yard at Home Farm, which was my first-year accommodation with the legendary Ed Bennett and Mrs. B. We spent a lot of time in the Hare and Hounds; although Anthony Gould and I had never met before we had several pints down there the very first evening. I was later to be his best man. I have now fully retired from dairy and sheep farming in the Peak District. We have three daughters, none of whom wished to carry on farming. They are all married and we have six grand-children aged from eleven down to one. We act as an unpaid baby-sitting service on frequent occasions; something which I am sure is common to many of our generation. I am on the Court of The University of Derby, which although only gaining university status in 1992 is extremely successful, particularly in the fields of engineering, the arts, travel and tourism, catering etc. I was involved in fund-raising to restore the grade one listed Devonshire Dome in Buxton, now part of the University and which is helping regenerate the town in a big 14

way. The Dome is the largest un-supported dome in Europe, bigger than St. Paul's. (The Millennium Dome in London does not count as it is more tent than building!) I am churchwarden of our local church which has recently undergone a restoration of the roof, again a very expensive project for which we were fortunate to receive a grant of 70%. I spend quite a lot of time in Scotland where I am chairman of a small fishing association on a West Coast salmon and seatrout river and loch. It is in stunningly beautiful country but the annual records are minimal, despite our efforts with our hatchery. I also still go to a deer forest in Scotland to stalk deer, and this will be my fifty-eighth year of visiting the same estate. Although I no longer actively farm I still live on the farm which many of my contemporaries at Shuttleworth visited over the years. The new tenant has a superb herd of Jersey cows supplying Longley Farm with milk. I can look out of my bedroom window at them safe in the knowledge I don’t have to get out of bed to go and milk them. I do however get the call to help with lambing the small flock of mainly Texel ewes. Luckily I have not lost that particular touch (very small hands!). Finally I am still a Deputy Lieutenant of Derbyshire but fall off the perch to go onto the supplementary list this year. Yours sincerely Rupert Turner

John Dickson NDA 64/66 Hi, just received your txt and decided to update my profile following my first visit back to Shutts in 2014 to celebrate 50 years since I attended the college. I arrived in 1964 in my Triumph 2A with a Burgess straight through exhaust, which, if handled softly purred along, but if floored could be heard leaving Bedford, well nearly. Apparently, on the way down from Yorkshire, where we farmed a 200 acre arable farm, I had passed a year two student, Mike Ings, who described it as being passed by a typhoon, a real compliment!!!. I found Shuttleworth a fascinating place full of students who really didn’t know much about farming but were very intelligent and learnt quickly. I on the other hand knew plenty about farming, yields etc animal husbandry tractors but hadn't a clue about chemistry which proved a disaster and led directly to only completing one year. Claims to fame at college; well sitting for 5 minutes in a chemistry exam; perhaps one not to brag about! I was also lead singer for the "Sugar beets" which I thoroughly enjoyed especially one of our favourite numbers "Jonny B Goode" always went down well and it was good to catch up with Chalky White, our drummer and opening bowler with me for the First X1, a great guy at the 50 year reunion. On leaving college I worked on the farm and set up a pig breeding unit where I sold weaners or supplied local meat outlets including the butchers business my father also ran. During this period I became a member of Equity, the actors union, and appeared many times on such shows as Coronation Street and Family at War where a pal of mine on holiday in Australia said he was amazed to see and hear me on the telly over there where Family at War was being shown. I also tried my hand at modelling and appeared on the pages of "Men� in Vogue but after appearing on a modelling show in Lincolnshire, which was televised a "shot" of me walking down the cat walk from behind with a thinning hairline told me my modelling days were over. After the farm was sold I eventually began working for M&S and stayed with them 15

for some15 years ending up in Baker Street where one of my jobs was looking after some of Lord Sieffs antiques including a huge room full of clocks from all over the world; how I hated it when the time came to alter them by 1hour!!!! M&S had a group at their Christmas functions and I never could resist the lure of Jonny B Goode. even 20 years later. Next came a complete change of direction again and for the last 20 years of my "working" life, I use the term loosely, I worked for what is now called the Ministry of Justice in charge of the Milton Keynes law courts. On the 1st June 2007 I had a triple heart bypass coupled with being blind in the left eye so my employees decided it was time for me to hang up my boots. The DVLA took my license off me, having just purchased a Discovery 3. I managed two weeks at the wheel which for a lad who had owned an E Type 3.8 coupe in the late 60's was very hard. I now live in Market Harborough, opposite the cricket ground which is brilliant. Mike Slack and I exchange Chrissy cards and I have rung Dave Mills on the odd occasion but don't see any other lads from college but would welcome them if they are ever in this neck of the woods. There it is, part of my life storey in a few words. John Alf Dickson P.S. Not for publishing really but as I lived in Moulsoe for many years I know Newport Pagnell quite well and we did have a Magistrate's Court there before the new one was built in MK. Cheers Take care JD. Sorry Alf it’s printed. We were short of copy and it’s a great story. Ed.

Jack Caley (1955/57) Just to report the news of the delivery to New Zealand of a New 12 tonne mill/mixer to join a second hand 4 tonne machine delivered there some 10 years ago. These were marketed through our company, we established some 33 years ago. It left Southampton on the RORO service to provide food for a pig farm in South Island. Jack

David Creasey (64-66, Lecturer 69-71) Dear Graeme, A few random thoughts from me, David Creasey 64-66 (Lecturer 69-71, External HND assessor 86-96). I regularly see Mike Anyan, who continues to farm near Gainsborough. Last seen at the Lincolnshire Show hosting the Russian Agricultural Attachee, who looked remarkably like Putin’s cousin! It was all through the Worshipful Company of Farmers, of which Mike is a liveryman.


I am currently Chaplain to the Master so spend time in London eating well and saying grace! Regularly see Bob Bowden, (64-66), also a liveryman and Sam Bradford, who I taught in about 1970. A new acquaintance from Yorkshire brought Chris Green (64-66) as a guest, having learned we were the same year. Other than that, I remain fairly fit and slightly farming, having let most of my land. I am still active as a non-stipendiary priest helping out in 6 local parishes; I seem to bury a lot of farmers! Locally my neighbour is George Tickler, who again I taught, and Charles Tyler is near. I am in touch with Dave Andrews, who lives in retirement in Easingwold, Roger Woodroffe, again retired near Lincoln and Dave Gantlett who is still farming near Faringdon (all 64-66). In April, Mike Anyan and myself met for lunch in the Farmers Club with Frances Hallowes and Roger Buswell (both 64-66). Neither of them had seen each other since we left. A convivial time in true Shutts style! I hope this is of some interest. David Creasey

Patricia Tagg (HND 80-83)

Farming sheep in Dorset. Training German Shepherd Dogs and their owners in continental herding techniques. Also teaching pet dog owners about tracking with their dogs. Be great to hear from anyone from my course can be reached at

Keith Burgess (NDA 70-72) Hi, I was a NDA student 70'-72' and have been married to Helen for 19 years, who works part time as a stewardess for BA. I am still farming with my brother John in Cambridgeshire, mainly arable but with some cattle (South Devons & Gloucesters). Crops are OSR, Wheat, Barley & Peas. In my spare time I like to travel with my wife. Keith Burgess Keith’s account of one of his excursions with Helen is included earlier in the Newsletter - Ed.


Andy Davies (68-70) Hi Tim I think I recall you asking for our news, but I deleted the email !!! Anyway if I have missed the dead line please put it in the next one !!! The first year of retirement has not gone well, still doing 60 hours a week with Woburn Country Foods which keeps on gaining customers !!! Internet sales are also growing which bodes well for the future. I am not sure what effect Brexit will have, but we are certainly seeing prices rising at the moment which should help our beleaguered livestock farmers. I am still involved at Shutts and served as the Industrial Expert (a contradiction of terms) on the panel to ratify the new Agricultural Degree course. It was duly approved and they have 5 students on the inaugural course which is brilliant. I was also asked to represent the college on the Shadow board of the proposed new National Land Based College. This has involved numerous trips to London, but has been fascinating to learn so much about the fears for the future of the numerous college principles. They had grave concerns that the courses for minority industries like arboriculture or horticulture could be withdrawn if they became uneconomic. The National Land Based College is now a registered company and charity. Leigh Morris is the CEO and an agreement has been signed with City and Guilds to provide the land based courses for all the colleges to deliver in the UK. The beauty of this agreement is that both parties are charities so that any surplus funds will be ploughed back into the courses of the future. I firmly believe this will safeguard the quality of land based education for future generations. I have also been invited to work with the Shuttleworth Trustees on the Estate and Property Committee and the College Liaison Committee. I attended my first meeting today and it was brilliant to see the Trust in such a strong position and having the funds available to back some really interesting proposals. The college has developed enormously with the higher level courses having a dramatic effect on enrolment numbers and the results being above the National average. It is really a College we can all be proud of and the huge investment planned for the future will only help to put Shuttleworth back where it belongs, one of the top land based Colleges in the country. As retirement has not gone well I have booked myself on a tour to follow the British and Irish Lions in New Zealand next year. Anyone fancy meeting up for a pint ??? Regards Andy

(Better late than never -Ed (now Graeme))

John Reader 1964/66 Good morning Graeme Now I know you need to fill the pages with more stories of what they now call Alumini. I am not going to tell you how many apples are hanging off the trees or how equine business is ploughing up the fields, so I am going to tell you the amazing true story of my wife’s umbrella. It was a big wind day a couple of years ago when the story began. My wife put her damp umbrella under the open sided conservatory in the garden. Big wind came and the brolley 18

disappeared. Where can it have gone? Not in the garden fence, not in the hedge or trees behind, where can it have gone? Now our new neighbour Martin lives half a mile down the lane. He doesn’t appear often, busy tending his cows and fields. Now however he rents some our fields. What’s more his quad bike is back from the repair shop. We hear the diesel tones popping up the road. One day Martin popped in to have a neighbourly chat. By the way Martin when you are next tending that field behind our house keep an eye open for that my wife’s umbrella. Sometime later.....pop pop the quad bike arrives. Martin has found the pink umbrella half mile away in next wood. We always remember this event. Martin has become a good neighbour and friend, and all because of a pink umbrella. I have another story but that will wait for another day. Best wishes John

Dave and Sue got married A group of us from the NDA Course 1969-1971, Chris Grainger, Rod Crocker, Andrew Green, Dave Godfrey, Geoff Bigg and Rick Fowler, have kept in touch over the years and more recently organised annual reunions. Last year when we were departing from Rick’s place at Braunston, Dave let it slip that there was a new woman in his life and that he was very happy with the way things were going. We were all delighted when, early in 2017, we received a wedding invitation for the August Bank Holiday weekend down in Peterborough. Hotels were booked and we all began to converge for the big day. Geoff and Ev travelled from Wigan via a funeral in North London. Andrew and Lynn had a trouble free drive from Mid Devon, just avoiding an accident on the M42 which held up Chris and Lynn for a couple of hours. Rod left mowing his golf course for as long as possible before setting off from Somerset and Rick just tootled across from Braunston. It was a perfect late Summer’s evening for the reception with a marquee, hog roast and champagne on arrival at Dave’s farm at Newborough. The lively Country Band had everybody up with plenty of dosy doying and lines all over the place. Dave’s son in law, Paul Martin (of “Flog It” fame) showed his versatility with a session on the drums. We knew that Dave and Sue were spending their wedding night at the Premier Inn where Chris and Lynn were staying. The staff arranged for the room to be suitably decorated and supplied some fizz which the happy couple consumed at 4 am before turning in. All 10 of us met for breakfast. We made arrangements for next year’s reunion before going our various ways. Another lovely weekend with good friends and only one thing in common; Shuttleworth College. Geoff Bigg NDA 1969-1971


Keith Stephenson (1960-1962) Generally, in good health but with a few aches and pains I continue to work full time on the farm but with more input from contractors, growing wheat, barley and oil seed rape. Our four daughters and four grandchildren are scattered between here and New Zealand and we are planning a trip to New Zealand next Spring for Fiona’s wedding. We have been successfully running a holiday cottage let on the farm for the last eight years and our guests appreciate the peace and quiet of rural Lincolnshire and we would be pleased to welcome any former Shuttleworth students – see advert!

Liz & Keith Stephenson welcome you to The Old Cottage, Langton Hill Farm Langton by Wragby, Lincolnshire, LN8 5QD Situated on a working arable farm 3 minutes from the Lincolnshire Limewoods Nature Reserve, the cottage is the perfect location for a peaceful holiday. Sleeps 6 (7) Well away from public roads, with wonderful views, birds, butterflies and meadow flowers, this is the ideal place for walkers or those who just wish to sit back and relax. Explore the Lincolnshire Wolds & coast & Historic Lincoln with its beautiful Cathedral and famous Christmas Market

Octogenarian walks Thames for Charity For more than two weeks Banbury Rotarian strides onwards A Banbury Man and Past Student at Shuttleworth, who turned 80 in March walked the length of The Thames in support of his Rotary Club’s charity work in Sierra Leone. Tim Bryce of Banbury, grew up in Lechlade-on-Thames, in Gloucestershire, which is where his interest in Boats began. It seemed fitting that the Rotarian would choose The Thames for the start of a 125 mile walk towards London to raise much needed funds and awareness of the club’s African projects. Lechlade is the place where the Thames becomes wide enough to carry boats and acting as chief navigator was Tim’s friend Dave Walker, who followed alongside in Tim’s Narrowboat.


Tim said: “Dave enjoyed the trip meandering along The Thames, which I don’t think he’s done before in quite the same way, watching the world go past and seeing things which he hadn’t seen before.”

Tim’s Narrowboat gave complete freedom to the pair as there was always warm lodgings on hand

Port Meadow Oxford

and a kitchen with food supplies to refuel once the days walking was finished The route, ending in Teddington, provided the duo with one of the most scenic waterways in the British Isles as it wound its way through the Cotswolds, into Oxford and then a myriad of towns and villages off the beaten track. Tim Bryce left, with Dave Walker – reached their goal at Teddington Lock.It took Tim 17 days to complete the roughly 125 miles of the navigable Thames although the exact distance could not be known. Tim said: “There were one or two detours along the way. As opposed to following the Journeys End

Thames you got shoved off to the side to get away from

private properties that line the Thames and would have been on the original footpath. It means you add a mile or two but I’ll never be able to calculate what those miles were.” 21

The Trek raised about £1000 for the cause and Tim also found time to write a daily “Blog” about his experiences which was posted on the Banbury Rotary Club’s website. Tim described the walk as a “Now or Never” event and has mixed feelings about attempting such an odyssey again. Tim said: “I have no plans to do

North Moor Lock

something quite so crazy again. I’m well over the age of the expected walker but there are a few people about at my age, who do ridiculous things – you’re only as old as you feel.” From a Report published in the Banbury Guardian 21/9/17. By Stuart Prestidge. A Postscript. Once I finished the walk, Dave suggested it would be good to move on into Central London and do a bit of exploring. Talking to Dave, I discovered that he had not previously had a chance to see much of London. We managed to find moorings in Little Venice, near Paddington, and then spent the next 6 days as typical tourists, visiting, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, Madam Tussauds, the Millennium Eye, Tower Bridge, Greenwich and the Cutty Sark etc.etc. I really enjoyed it because we visited places I had never seen myself. We used the Undergound but also walked a great deal. Dave commented that I was walking better and quicker than in previous years – that long walk and all that exercise must View of Greenwich

have done me a power of good! Tim Bryce (65/67).


This quiz provides the first letters of Carols, Songs, Poems, phrases associated with Christmas, with spaces following for each missing letter. Eg M _ _ _ _ P_ _ _ would be M I N C E P I E S Please send your answers to or by post to Paddy Godwin, Osier Cottage, Thorney, Langport, Somerset TA10 0DT by 26th Jan 2018. There is a ÂŁ20 prize for the winner. In the event of more than one correct answer we will draw a name from a hat to find the winner. Answers in the next newsletter. Good Luck.


I_ T_ _ B_ _ _ _ M_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


R_ _ _ _ _ _ T_ _ R_ _-_ _ _ _ _ R_ _ _ _ _ _ _


B_ _ _ _ _ _ S_ _ _ _ _ _


T_ _ F_ _ _ _ N_ _ _


D_ _ _ T_ _ H_ _ _ _


M_ _ _ _ B_ _ C_ _ _ _


T_ _ _ T_ _ N _ _ _ _ B_ _ _ _ _ C_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


W_ T _ _ _ K_ _ _ _ O_ O_ _ _ _ _ A_ _


I_ C_ _ _ U_ _ _ A M_ _ _ _ _ _ _ C_ _ _ _


T_ _ T_ _ _ _ _ D_ _ _ O_ C_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


J_ _ _ _ _ B_ _ _ _


S_ _ _ _ _ N_ _ _ _


B_ _ H_ _ _ _ _ !


O C_ _ _ A_ _ Y_ F_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


W_ _ _ _ S_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ W_ _ _ _ _ _


T_ _ C_ _ _ _ _ _ _ C_ _ _ _


W_ _ _ _ C_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


O_ _ _ _ I_ R_ _ _ _ D_ _ _ _ _ C_ _ _


C_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ R_ _ _ _ _ _ _ O_ A_ O_ _ _ F_ _ _


D_ _ _ _ _, D_ _ _ _ _, P_ _ _ _ _ _, V_ _ _ _, C_ _ _ _, C_ _ _ _, D_ _ _ _ _ A_ _ B_ _ _ _ _ _ 23

COMMITTEE & OFFICERS S.C.A. 2017 Chairman.

Sarah Perrett

Vice Chairman Tony Abbott

HND 77/80


NDA 65/67



Charlotte Scott




Mike Williams

NDA 65/67


Database Manager

Patrick Godwin

HND 77/80


Committee. Sam Donald

HNDBF 93/95


Nick Drury

HND 81/84


Eric Yates

Retired Staff


ND 90/93


Claire Van Leersum

HND 81/84


Graeme Brown

OND 77/80


Richard Infield

College Contact

President. Vice Presidents. Secretary.

Margaret Curry 01767 626222

Charlotte Friefrau John Von Twickle J.E. Scott, S.C. Whitbread, Bill Bedser, Eric Yates and Professor Mike Alder. Charlotte Scott, Unwin Cottage, 5 Pear Tree piece, Old Warden, Biggleswade, SG18 9FD. Tel: 01767 626311 Mobile: 07717862747

Newsletter Coordinator Greame Brown, 25 Church Lane, Oulton,Lowestoft Suffolk NR32 3JN, 07775 331830

Your feedback and stories The editor is looking for material for the next Newsletter as soon as this one goes to press, so please don’t delay, get writing, look for stories and send them to him as soon as possible.

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