Shuttleworth College Alumni Newsletter

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The Shuttleworth College Alumni Newsletter

December 2020

Table of Contents

Welcome to the 2020 Old Students Magazine...................................................... 3 Chairman’s Report ................................................................................................ 4 Report from Catherine Lloyd, Director of Land based Studies ............................ 5 News ...................................................................................................................... 7 Rag Week 1966 ................................................................................................... 16 You want to grow WHAT? ................................................................................. 18 Memories from 62/64.......................................................................................... 21 Fifty Years On ..................................................................................................... 26 In the News - from our (far) East correspondent ................................................ 28 In Memoriam....................................................................................................... 30 Climate change in the Antipodes ........................................................................ 32 S.C.A Merchandise ............................................................................................. 33 Shuttleworth College Alumni AGM ................................................................... 35 Notes from the Editorial Team ........................................................................... 37 Officers and Committee S.C.A. 2020 ................................................................. 38


Welcome to the 2020 Old Students Magazine Welcome to the 2020 Shuttleworth College Alumni Annual Newsletter. What a year 2020 has been. For those who are still farming things all went wrong last autumn with the deluge of rain and the problems that caused. The catchy harvest also seemed to add insult to injury. By way of some compensation however, that which was harvested will be worth more than most have budgeted for. Although there will not be many bags of unplanted seed left in the shed this year it has not been all plain sailing. The weather gods appear to have been against us again. But for all of us the Covid issue has dominated our lives one way or another. Some homes have been affected more than others and this Christmas will be a different one for many. Despite the pandemic and all its tribulations The College has continued to run and later in the Magazine you can get a full rundown of what is currently happening at Shuttleworth today. Follow the link below for an excellent Virtual Tour of the College which shows many places you will remember and some new ones that are not so familiar. We have tried to include as much news as possible regarding past students and their endeavours. Graeme’s piece on viticulture gives an interesting insight into a subject the results of which we all enjoy but perhaps know very little about. We did receive a large file of information from Denniss Nicholls (NDA 60/62) explaining how the changing climate is affecting his home in Australia. There is too much to print in this issue but there is a link to the whole article on the SCA website at: It is a fascinating and very detailed piece. It is not for the faint hearted as it does show how the World is changing rapidly and how it may affect us all. We rely very much on input from you so please keep them coming when ever and whatever! Thanks for those who contributed this year. Our thanks also go to Eric Yates for his help with the In The News Section. From his home in Hunstanton he scours the local newspapers, mainly the Farm and Country section of the Eastern Daily Press, for news of Old Students and their farming exploits. His memory of former students is encyclopaedic. If you were a student in his time at Shuttleworth he will remember you and your class mates too! For reasons that are obvious we were not able to hold the Great 2020 Reunion in June. Tony Abbott’s chairman’s report gives more details. ED.


Chairman’s Report Well, we certainly are in strange times! For the last few years I have been helping a friend of mine who has a wholesale coffee business supplying hotels, restaurants, coffee bars, activity centres, attractions etc. with coffee, tea, hot chocolate and machines along the south coast. I was furloughed in March and was just about due to return to work when the second lockdown happened so have been furloughed again, certainly for a month and probably more! I hope you are all surviving as we move towards the Christmas period. It is also very strange for us on the committee as we have only met by Zoom meetings for over twelve months now. I would like to congratulate Catherine Lloyd (Director of Field Studies at the college) and her team for adapting to the new ’norm’. You will see her report elsewhere in this magazine. Obviously, we have had to cancel the College reunion planned for last June. At the time I was hoping that by next June we would be able to reinstate. However, at this moment in time, that looks quite unlikely – time will tell. I would like to thank all those attendees who have agreed to leave their payment with us which has saved our treasurer, Mike Williams and database manager Paddy Godwin a lot of time and effort. Last year at the end of November I attended the Bedford College Group’s Achievements evening, on behalf of the Alumni, which was held in the Bedford Corn Exchange – this year it will be by Zoom. The college group (of which Shuttleworth is a member) boasts a total student population of 15,000 of which about half are part-time. I would like to thank, once again, all my committee members who work tirelessly on your behalf. If anyone out there would like to assist us in whatever capacity we would love to hear from you. Finally please stay safe and may I wish you and yours all the best for the festive season. Hopefully 2021 will bring better times. Tony Abbott NDA 1965-67


Report from Catherine Lloyd, Director of Land based Studies Looking back over 2019/2020 it has been unlike any other due to the ongoing global pandemic and its impact on us all. The college closed to students in March 2020 and moved to an online learning mode of delivery for the remainder of the academic year. Staff worked hard to adapt to this new mode of delivery and the students were able to successfully complete their qualifications. We were able to keep the students up to date with what was happening at Shuttleworth by uploading photos and videos as we moved through the spring and summer. Although there were no students onsite work had to continue to look after the animals on the zoological centre, the horses at Mount Pleasant and the cattle at Kingshill. The staff teams did a fantastic job keeping everything going throughout. Despite the pandemic it has been a good summer on the farm and this year’s harvest yielded well. We were particularly pleased with the wheat as we had grown a new variety which performed well. The Red Poll herd continues to grow. This year we had 23 Red Poll calves and currently the herd stands at 63 with 26 calves expected this year. The images show one of our calves, Shuttleworth Kitkat, just born, at 5 weeks old and at 6 months old. Our livestock lecturer and level 6 students are working on a project carbon foot printing the herd with the aim to establish a carbon neutral plan.

Shuttleworth Kitkat just born

Kingshill farm is participating in the mid-tier countryside stewardship scheme. So far we have planted 1,785m of hedging, established buffer strips, planted areas of nectar flower mix and legume and herb rich swards and put in a number of beetle banks. Flower rich margins have been established alongside of all new hedges planted and this year flowered well. The impact of the work so far is a reported increase in wildlife on the farm for example grey partridges, pheasants, lap wings, corn buntings and skylarks. This is due to the increase in habitat and food, as there are more insects, bugs etc. living in the flower rich margins for them to feed on and also ground cover for nesting. In addition to the Shuttleworth Kitkat at 5 weeks

stewardship work we have looked at practices on the 5

farm to improve the soil, for example growing legume crops to improve soil structure and quality. This year we have purchased a weather and environment monitor station and we look forward to using this to develop our understanding regarding conditions on the farm. The zoological centre is complete with all the animals now settled into their new accommodation. We have created large exotic mammal pens for our coatis and lemurs. The biome continues to mature and develop and this year the banana tree actually had fruit.

Six months old and looking very well. Shuttleworth Kitkat

Many of our other activities have been put on hold so there are no study tours or visits to report on. However the staff and students have been participating in a number of virtual events as conferences and meetings move online. This ensures students are still able to have input from a range of external speakers to enhance their courses.

The Shuttleworth Biome

The Amphibian Zone at Shuttleworth

The college has worked hard over the summer to prepare the campus so we are able to provide a supportive and safe environment during this Covid-19 pandemic. We are fortunate at Shuttleworth to have a large amount of open space and this term we are focusing on as much outdoor activity and tuition as possible. Student recruitment has been good and we continue to provide a high quality student experience for those studying with us.

Catherine Lloyd


News Frank Pitkin NDA 61-63 In response to your request I’m jotting down a ‘contribution’ to the Newsletter which hopefully makes sense, as follow: I’m a 1961-63 NDA old student & fingers crossed, still going strong. I see you, Graeme, are based in Lowestoft, a place which immediately brings back awesome memories of our Shutts 1963 Easter rugby tour! In all my life I've never ever been so cold, but of course we had fantastic terrific fun, super rugby, apart from the odd broken leg! A great tour! See Neil Hampson’s piece later for more details on this incident and a team photo too! It’s been embarrassingly long since my last Newsletter foray - in fact for many years I was the 61-63 cohort ‘Course Rep’ & surprisingly supplied lots of good, most interesting, readable content from a dozen or more old students - it was fun stuff! But somehow, I guess with other priorities I ceased pulling it together about 15 years ago. As a result I’ve lost touch apart from couple: Peter Pharaoh, David Jones & John Pritchard. Perhaps this is a good opportunity to restart & anyone reading this from 61-63 may have a chance to get in touch, please? It was a brilliant era; great bunch of guys, super fun, rugby, cricket & I seem to remember something about several girls colleges in Bedford! But most importantly we had the benefit of the stunningly impressive & refreshingly likeable Principal, Ken Russel. He was a star. As for me, I've failed to retire; living in north Bucks close to the Chiltern Hills, doing same work as for the last 40 odd years opening new markets for heavy construction machine stuff in mainly China, NE Asia & Africa & love it! Also still a long serving, active governor of Berkshire College of Agriculture; a superb institution probably well known to many readers of this newsletter? Equally super enjoyable & rewarding is the pro-bono work with Min of Agr. Uganda expanding agriculture mechanisation - although due to Covid 19 it’s been a total, utter wash-out this year, but the future is surely optimistically bright; that’s life! Very best, Frank

Neil Hampson NDA 62/64 Rugby Tour Lowestoft Easter 63 I broke my leg in the first game on Good Friday Morning and spent two days with the lads helping me through the pain by bringing endless pints of beer. Eventually my leg was put into plaster on Easter Monday. THEN – Steve. Ford broke his Leg!!!!! In the Monday Game. PROBLEM :- I had travelled to Lowestoft with Steve in my Mini Van - How to get Home?


Shuttleworth Tour Easter 1963

David Thomas, Duncan Robinson, Tim Vigus, Dave Prothero all NDA 62/64 And Ian Vigus FC 87/88 This team enjoyed their annual reunion with a day’s shooting at Tim’s family farm in Tiverton, Devon. Son Ian runs the shoot and by all accounts the birds are ‘Challenging’. The older the team get the more ‘challenging’ the shooting. Photo kindly provided by Tim’s brother Willie. Note the cap worn by Ian. We have a few left for sale so contact Sarah Perrett for details (see merchandise page for contact details).

L/R David Thomas, Duncan Robinson, Tim Vigus, Ian Vigus, Dave Prothero 8

John (Alf) Dickson NDA 64/65 What follows is my attempt to submit an article for publication which is an attempt to recall my memories of a glorious year at Shutts, cut short by a total lack of knowledge of chemistry having ditched it at school in the third year and culminating in the writing of my name in the first year exams and leaving the room!! Sad to say, Ken did not invite me back for the second year; I went back to the farm where I belonged. Recently, through Dave Valentine, I was directed to two smashing books by Rob Grindal, 63 to 65. They are great stories of Rob growing up on the farm and life thereafter; I could relate to so many of his experiences growing up and working in agriculture in that day. In the course of the book, Shuttleworth and the Sugarbeets were mentioned, a subject still near to my heart. Rob recently suggested I put down on paper my thoughts and recollections of those "heady" days when I was privileged to be the lead singer for the group and what follows is my attempt at that, here goes..... I was walking to my Triumph Tr2A sports car, 2" Burgess straight through exhaust pipe, you could hear me passing Cardington Hangers Mike Slack said, when I heard the sound of music; not in the hills, but in a room nearby. As an avid fan of Chuck Berry/Beatles and Rollong Stones, I went to the door, listened and then walked in. Adrian was on lead guitar, Pete Selby on rhythm guitar, Dave Harris on bass guitar and Chalky White on drums.

Adrian's surname eludes me for which I apologise, but I am 76 !!! After a while I asked if they wanted a singer; well, I had been in the church choir a few years previously. Adrian very generously said yes and I crooned away, in my element, only to be brought back to earth as I didn't know the words to most of the current tunes being played. However, I did know the words to "Jonny B Goode " by Chuck Berry, and so began one of the Sugarbeets best known and remembered songs. Adrian was superb on all the riffs and we began to gel as I learnt the words to such songs as “There is a house in New Orleans”, “Heartbreak Hotel”,“She loves


you yeah yeah yeah�. There were other songs by the Kinks, Chuck, Rolling Stones and we could soon play for about half an hour. We were approached to play in the Tavern; the PE College and TT College soon flocked to our nights and seemed to really enjoy the music. I remember dear Henry Bucknall taking us all to London in his big car to pick up a new set of drums for Chalky, and we were asked to play at Bedord Corn Exchange as support act to the West Indian Steel Band who were guesting there; they were extremely popular at that time. All went really well and we started our slot with our Jonny B Goode, everyone was jogging on the dance floor, when suddenly the sound and lights went off, power cut?? no, one of our own who didn't approve of the group had pulled the plugs out. I heard he recently departed us so I will not mention his name as he can no longer defend himself, but I never forgave him!! We were invited to play at the Summer Ball and that was marvellous, with the Wurzles, a professional group sadly lacking their lead singer, Adge Cutler. We played at quite a few venues and were due to play during the holidays for Dave Harris at his 21st. Sadly I blew a cylinder head gasket on the A1M near Doncaster and had to miss that. Those, in a nutshell, are memories; anybody else with more memories please publish them to the Shutts newsletters, good or bad, well not too bad. Cheers to you all

Chris Fyson (65-67) In response to your request for items for the Newsletter I thought some of your readers might be interested in how the Covid 19 virus is impacting us in the southern hemisphere. There are three Shuttleworth alumni from my era that I am aware of living in Western Australia: Mike Clark and myself, both were two year attendees from 1965-67 and Roger Harper who was a one year in 66-67. We live only about 3km apart in the northern areas of Perth. Western Australia could almost be regarded as a separate country – and many of us wish it was!! We have a very sparsely populated land border of 3500 km with the Northern Territory and South Australia, with two only sealed roads crossing the border, the Eyre Highway in the south, the Great Northern Highway across the Kimberley into the Northern Territory, and an unsealed road through the Centre. These road borders were all closed to general traffic in April and are still closed by police-manned road blocks. The rest of our border is sea. Western Australia is the export engine room of Australia exporting massive tonnages of iron ore, nickel, gold, LNG and cereal crops, mainly wheat and malting barley, beef and wool. Then of course there is our premium wine production, so we are pretty self-sufficient for the essentials of life in non-manufactured products. Our closed borders initially included internal movement restrictions and closed pubs, restaurants and sporting venues. These restrictions were eased when there was no evidence of 10

community spread and we are now more or less back to normal with ‘social distancing’ practiced and entertainment venues not yet back to full capacity, but enough to get by. We are much better off than those on the other side, with Victoria in particular suffering the worst restrictions, with tight lockdowns as they try to contain the community spread of the virus. Our national sporting codes are operating in quarantine hubs in Queensland, NSW, South Australia, WA and the Northern Territory, which is a logistical nightmare and makes for very unpredictable results! On the positive side, West Australians are visiting their own State instead of going up to Bali, and we have a lot to offer being 1/3 of the country land mass. To put this into perspective it takes three full days to drive on open, relatively empty roads from Perth to Kununurra, some 3200 kms passing through a handful of townsites en-route. The route also passes many stunning areas of natural beauty, a host of the best beaches in the World, some 80 km long, fantastic open sea fishing, swimming with whale sharks, world class surfing breaks and many other fascinating attractions that many West Australians are seeing for the first time! On the agricultural front Australia is expecting a record grain harvest as the whole country has had winter rains for a change! The rub is that there is a shortage of labour to drive the harvesters, called headers here. We rely on back packers and seasonal workers to gather in the grain harvest, man the grain receival silos, tend to vineyard management and provide the labour for fruit picking. Many of our truck drivers come from interstate to drive grain trucks and general mine haulage road trains. I almost feel like I should pull on the boots and give a hand driving a header but having been out of the game for over fifty years I would probably be more of a liability than an asset!! When things within Australia will ease up I don’t know; we hope before Christmas as we have children in the Northern Territory and NSW that we have not seen all year and many families are in the same boat. Likewise international travel is also a long way off so visiting family in the UK is off the agenda for a while. In the meantime we try and stay virus free and enjoy a reasonably relaxed life in what is probably the best place on the planet to see this bug out of the global system. To all Shuttleworth alumni stay safe; those of our vintage particularly as we are in the more ‘vulnerable’ age bracket. Kind regards Chris Fyson Managing Director Vier Pty Ltd 9 Sandover Dr

PO Box 415 North Beach WA 6920

Karrinyup, WA 6018

0418 945 393 +61 8 9448 4619


Colin Racey Rep 65-66 Farmers Course, Huntingdon. I am enjoying retirement after working with my Father and brothers. Four years ago I decided to retire, leaving my brother John on his farm and the family land. My wife Judith and I are now able to spend more time together enjoying holidays even in July and August, a first after at least 50 harvests at home. We celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary in 2019. Much of our time is spent with our three daughters and their families. I enjoy gardening, fishing and watching our grandsons playing cricket, rugby and football. I might also confess to chasing combines and big tractors, Case quad tracks etc. easy to find in Huntingdonshire, sad isn’t it? With brother John still farming and with a farming son in law I still have plenty of contact with farming and country life. Our daughter Alis has lived in Australia for 10 years with her husband and now with two daughters; they live near the coast in Burleigh Heads near Brisbane. We have stayed with them several times visiting Sydney, Melbourne and flying to Longreach, the home of Qantas in the outback; one of the highlights of our trip was Christmas morning in the ocean before turkey in the BBQ - yes they do have big Barbies, something I will never forget! Sadly we are not able to visit Australia due to the Covid situation; we have been content at home going for walks here and on the beach in North Norfolk; we are lucky to live in the countryside. Our eldest grandson is continuing the farming tradition having just started at Harper Adams and by all accounts has settled into Student life! I am pleased to say I have kept in touch with Roger Middleditch who like all farmers is struggling to drill his wheat.

Roger Middleditch (FC 65-66) Still married to Gill, 50 years next year all things being equal! We have three children, two girls and son Christopher who, following Harper Adams, is now pretty much running the business. Still farming a mixture of owned, tenanted, FBTs and Contract farming across around 4500 acres in the Southwold and Beccles area. Still get a buzz from being involved, especially when we have had nearly 9 inches of rain since late September! Keep in touch with David (Fancy) Philp and hoping to catch up when we visit the grand children who live not far from Marlow.


Peter Rollings (NDA 65-67 ). Dear Graeme, I assume you are still carrying out your valuable duties as Editor of the Newsletter !! I for one look forward to receiving it each year and catching up on news of old friends, both from college days and other contacts in the industry, (although inevitably I suppose given how long ago it was since we were at Shutts - is it really 53 years since we left !! - the quantity gets slightly less.) For what it's worth, a few snippets for you, which I leave you to use or not as you see fit. After a career spent with BOCM PAULS and associated companies, now fully retired and still living in Rufforth near York. After various roles in sales and regional management around the country I was part of the team that completed a management buy out of the company in 1988, and eventually ended up as Feeds Director (chief Operating officer in modern parlance) responsible for the day to day running of the business nationally. Retired from full time work in 2006 but continued as Non Executive Director until we sold the business to ForFarmers in 2012. I had been involved in the NPA (National Pig Association ) since its formation in 1999, as a result of the then crisis in the pig industry, and continued as a Board member and chair of the Allied Industry Group until 2015. Since then have got involved in local issues, leading a team to produce a Neighbourhood Plan for the area (a task that was both rewarding in terms of giving local people a real say in the future of their community but at the same time immensely frustrating in dealing with the systemic bureaucracy of our civil service) and have now ended up as Chair of the Parish Council, possibly because no one else wants the job. I met Carole when we were at Shuttleworth and last year we celebrated our Golden Wedding with our two daughters and five grandchildren. Still keep in touch with Deryck Easton (NDA 65-67) who is also retired and is still living in Meysey Hampton near Cirencester, having spent a lot of his career with cows and cattle. He and Jane celebrated their Golden Wedding this year. They also met when Deryck was at Shuttleworth. Jane was living next door to Carole and came to College dances with us and the rest is history!! Have been in occasional e mail contact with Mark Morris trying to arrange a meet up at Twickenham before Covid 19 took over our lives. On which subject, if we ever get back to normal and anyone from our era is going to Twickenham I have debentures there so am there for most games, so please get in touch. Mark was contemplating a move to France at one stage but not sure where he is on that one with recent developments. Sadly heard that Dave Ross (NDA 65-67) passed away and have done a separate piece on him for you which I attach. A great shame that the reunion had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. We are certainly living in strange and difficult times but hopefully next year ---- . In the meantime I would be delighted to hear from any old friends and if anyone wants them please feel free to pass on my contact details. 13

Thank you for all your stirling work as Editor - it is much appreciated. Regards Peter PS Do you or anyone else have any news or contact details for Brian Bell (NDA 65 /67)

If anyone wants to contact old friends contact Paddy Godwin on and he will check the SCA database. Ed

Ian Roy McCall NDA 67/69

As an old NDA student of the late 60s I thought a short update from our small farm in the Midlands might be of interest:On leaving Shuttleworth and following in the footsteps of Ken Russell, who sadly died at work during my first term at Shutts, I went wholeheartedly into dairy farming building up a pedigree herd of 125 Holstein Friesians. This was a time of huge increases in milk production per cow, driven by stable prices thanks to the Milk Marketing Board, and made possible by improved genetics, feeding and management systems. Little did we know how things were about to change. Milk lakes and butter mountains resulted in quotas which became a valuable asset. The milk price was still good but, as my sons did not want to milk cows, I decided to cash-in on the quota and give up dairy farming. Probably a good move because, with the MMB abolished and the supermarkets suppressing the milk price, the quotas became worthless. However, we converted the old dairy buildings into ten offices and the grain store and tractor shed into a wedding venue to be run by my eldest son Mark. If it were not for Covid we would be doing seventy weddings this year! Nine glamping pods have also been installed and these are in big demand for staycations. Meanwhile youngest son Peter has dug out three lakes and now we are the only Wakeboard and Waterpark Park with purpose-built multi-level Gap Line wakeboard system. Diversification has enabled the farm to continue, prosper and provide livelihood for the family. Kind regards, Ian Roy

Ian Roy McCall Wootton Park Farm

Wootton Wawen

Henley-in-Arden, B95 6HJ 14

Nigel Holley OND 1977-80 For three years post college I worked at Halsey & Partners Estate, Hemel Hempstead in a trainee management role; this basically meant turning my hand to anything and everything! We had five farms on the estate including: a dairy unit with 450 Pedigree Friesians, a Barley Beef unit, an Equine Stud Farm and 1800 acres of arable, plus shooting, hunting, fishing and even two pubs on the estate. So never a dull moment, particularly as we often had a number of foreign farming students and trainee vets working with us and living with me in the student cottage; it was one continual messy night out! Following this, I briefly became a freelance photographer and then entered into the world of financial services, advising wealthy individuals and companies on all aspects of their financial planning. I have worked for a number of global businesses over the last 37 years dealing with some interesting clients in the UK and in some exotic locations, but my formative years in agriculture have often been valuable in my dealings with clients and their assets, despite work being based in London! Louise and I married in 1985 and we have three boys, now aged 30, 28 and 24, all tentively flown the nest now. We live in St Albans and always open to be contacted and a beer whenever the pubs reopen! Andy Carver (Goober) (he likes pea-nuts) Still living in Loddon where his DIY and gardening shop has ironically benefitted from Covid restrictions; the introduction of a one-way route through the shop has increased sales (better product exposure). He also does contract grass cutting and gardening machinery repair and maintenance. Graeme Brown (Spiny Norman) I still find it strange to think that 40 years after leaving Shuttleworth I should be a qualified and registered agronomist supplying viticultural consultancy services to vineyards (Tyringham Hall Newport Pagnell, Rectory Farm Emberton (owner John Croxford HND 7881), Chet Valley Vineyards Norwich, Thursford Old Hall Fakenham and Holkham Hall Wells-Next-the-Sea- who’d have thought it!

Paddy Barker NDA 1985-88 ( I think!! - same as Richard Blackhurst/John Allen etc) I had good skiing until 10th March this year, when all the fun was rapidly halted by Covid19. Since then, I have been at home steadily doing a full on maintenance schedule which is almost finished…. not sure what’s going to happen over the winter with the current status…. Farming- Oh yes… none of that! My farm is now a gravel quarry. I have 58 acres left that a local contractor looks after. I do miss “playing” with all the machinery etc, but don’t miss the paperwork! So not much to report!! Paddy 15


Rag Week 1966

During the week ending 21 May 1966, the Bedford group of colleges organised a series of events to raise money for charity. The total raised was over £1500 – doesn’t sound much today but converted to 2019 values that was £28,154 +. On the organising committee for Shuttleworth were Tony Abbott [65/67] and Bob Bowden [64/66] and they were joined by members from Mander College, Bedford College for Physical Education, Bedford College of Education (Teacher Training), and the National College for Agricultural Engineering (Silsoe). On the Saturday a procession of floats left the P.E. in Lansdown Road, led by Dave Valentine in his Healey 100/4, with the Rag Queen, Sue Marston seated on top. Excerpts from the Bedford Record and Circular of 24th May 1966 – Front page & p3. “As the procession of 15 brightly decorated floats wound its hourand-half long route though town, traffic ground to a standstill and major traffic jams were reported in most of the streets in the town centre. Most colourful of the floats taking part was the “Pajama Game” made up by the Teachers Training College – it was judged the best float by the town Mayor. The whole of the float was disguised 16

as a giant four poster bed and more than a dozen girls in nightdresses sat around singing. Another favourite with the crowd was Bedford P.E. College’s “Great Escape”. This was very symbolic explained one of the girls. In the front of the float a number of girls were dressed as prisoners behind iron bars while other scantily dress students danced at the back. The iron bars represented college and exams while the singing and dancing represented the outside world, said the student. Bags of flour were thrown from some of the floats as battles took place between some of them – this was not popular with the public crowds when a few went astray! Many people were turned away disappointed from a dance organised by the P.E. featuring the Swinging Blue Jeans [look them up on YouTube] at Russell Park, Bedford in the evening which raised £200 [£3,750]. Inside the giant marquee a capacity 1200 danced, tightly packed on a specially laid wooden floor. The Swinging Blue Jeans cost £150 [£2800] and £30 for each of 2 supporting bands. They needed at least 800 people to break even. A piano smashing competition in front of the bus station on Friday evening rapidly attracted a large crowd. The six teams competing had dragged their pianos through the streets from the King’s Arms in St Johns. Most of the pianos were originally on rollers, but these fell off as the students attempted to get up maximum speed. Consequently the biggest and toughest team, Shuttleworth, had built up an unassailable lead by the time they reached the bus station. The second team to finish were Silsoe College. Later on Friday groups of 2 & 3 students carrying bed rolls and blankets began to congregate at the bus station. – By midnight 20 people were stretched out along the pavement sleeping. Most stayed until early morning collecting money for charity but three, Ian Stuart, Chris Green, [both from Shuttleworth] & Nigel Print held out until noon on Saturday.


The Mayor judged a children’s fancy dress competition. Entrants included little Bo-Peep, a Mexican Bandit, Red Indian and Pirates as well as a bride. During Saturday lunch-time girls from Teachers Training College put on a display of country dancing in Church Square.” Dave Valentine also remembers some other Shuttleworth students activities on the Saturday. Brian Moore & Maurice Budden had table and chairs on the traffic island in the middle of High Street near the Town Bridge and played chess for hours, also in High Street was Stuart Cartmell with his fishing rod trying his luck down a road drain! A cage on wheels containing snarling P.E. girls was pulled up Silver Street by a team of 4 Shuttleworth Students.

You want to grow WHAT? That would probably have been the response 20 years ago when a farmer’s son or daughter freshly back to the UK from New Zealand suggests that they would like to plant grapevines on the farm. Today such a suggestion would be taken seriously; there are now 770 (and counting) vineyards and 160 wineries in the UK, mostly in the southern counties with the rest in Wales, the Midlands, Yorkshire and even Scotland. In the last four years over 5.2 million grapevines have been planted on approximately 1400 hectares bringing the total area to approximately 5200 ha with 65% of the total dedicated to sparkling wine production; the UK has gained a reputation for producing world-class sparkling wine! It is worth mentioning that the UK is the hub of the global 6.3 billion dollar wine trade and that Manchester is home to the largest bottling plant in the world. This international import/export trade has been built up over centuries and now worth around £830 million per annum to the UK economy but Brexit threatens this when WTO and EU tariffs and custom rules come into force – or not. We shall see. All commercial plantings in the UK are on phylloxera resistant rootstocks and must be registered with the Wine Standards Vineyard Register; private plantings below 0.1 ha are exempt. Commercial wine producers need a Wine Producers Licence and have to pay Wine Duty for still wine between 1.2% and 22% ABV (Alcohol By Volume); for sparkling wines the parameters are 5.5% and 15% ABV. This pushes the cost of making the wine to around £5.00 per bottle for still wine and £9.00 per bottle for sparkling wine and explains why you can buy a bottle of imported wine for £5.00 in supermarkets. Grapevines can be grown on just about all soil types with a suitable phylloxera resistant rootstock; the usual plant density is 3500 to 4000 plants/ha with 1.0 to 1.2 metres between plants in rows of 2.4 metres apart. A vineyard should be like a calf rearing shed in that it needs to be dry underfoot, sheltered but well ventilated. This is particularly important here in the UK with our temperate maritime climate that leads to high humidity levels in the growing season resulting in high disease pressure, with Powdery Mildew and Botrytis being the greatest threat, although advances in plant breeding have brought out more disease resistant 18

varieties e.g. Solaris and Regent. Other diseases include Downy Mildew, Phomopsis, Petri Disease to name a few; rabbits and deer eat young vines, thrips and capsid bugs are early season pests, while light brown apple moths, spotted wing drosophila, wasps and finally birds attack ripening grapes. As if that isn’t enough we have to contend with late frosts and thunderstorms with hail later in the year. Grapes need 1000 day degrees (the accumulated average temperature above 10 deg C over the growing season) to ripen properly with 1390 optimum, but here in the UK that can be a struggle so this means that siting of the vineyard is paramount; below 100 metres altitude with a southerly aspect on a slope being ideal. I remember Bill Bedser telling us that every degree of south facing slope can add the equivalent of four (I think!) growing days per season. Global warming is having an overall beneficial effect but can throw in a few wobblies i.e. extremes of temperature, drought and rainfall. Once a suitable site has been chosen and the soil prepared the GPS guided planter (below)

GPS Guided Planter in operation moves in, trellising is installed and after three years of pruning and training the young vines the first small crop of around 2 t/ha can be harvested - if you’re lucky barring frosts and drought! All this will cost around £40,000/ha and it will be another 2-3 years before the vines reach commercially acceptable yields of 6-8 t/ha; in hotter parts of the world this sort of yield would be deemed a crop failure! Production costs are around £1500-£1800/ha with labour costs at £800/ha being the greatest component. I mentioned phylloxera aka the vine louse that infects the roots and sometimes the leaves; this was introduced to the UK and Europe along with powdery mildew on imported American species in the 1840’s and proceeded to almost annihilate the European wine industry as the Vitis Vinifera plant from which most wines are produced has no resistance to these two pests. Luckily work by the Frenchman Planchon and American entomologist Riley led to the practice of grafting V.Vinifera onto American rootstock (Vitis Labrusca, Rupestris or Berlianderii) to counter phylloxera while the use of copper sulphate in Bordeaux mixture as a spray controlled the powdery mildew. The choice of rootstock for grafting is determined by the soil type that the vines are to be planted in, for the three American species can cope with a wide range of soils. 19

Once the vines are fully established after 6 years or so, good canopy management (essential in the UK) will give results like this:-

Pinot Noir, Tyringham Hall, Newport Pagnell 2019 (I was pleased with those!) You’ll perhaps notice how thin the canopy is; I’m guided by work done on canopy management at NIAB East Malling research vineyard. Growing grapes in the UK can be immensely satisfying or cruelly disappointing and it’s all down to the weather (and good agronomy). The harvests of 2018/19 were good while this year has seen many inland crops lost to late frosts in mid-May, although those lucky enough to escape them have again had a good year. Vast amounts have been written about viticulture and wine making so I won’t add any more; anyone wishing to learn about the subject will either go to Plumpton College or do a distance learning course as other colleges have yet to cater for the demand (as far as I am aware), so perhaps Shuttleworth and Warden Abbey (their website is worth looking at) could come to an arrangement? Growing grapes is hard work all the way through from pruning to bud-rubbing (thinning excess buds), training, managing the canopy and then finally picking, pressing the grapes and making the wine, but I find it to be challenging, interesting, sometimes painful (sharp secateurs) but when it all goes well, you will end up with something like this and oh how satisfying and tasty! Nunc Bibendum! Graeme Brown


Memories from 62/64 For the princely sum of 8/6s (42.5p in today’s money) you ‘Could Go to the Ball’

It was a night many will remember but probably for all the wrong reasons. At 12.30 Central Standard Time President Kennedy was shot in Dallas Texas. 6.30 in the evening UK time. That act may have changed many people’s world but it didn’t put the dampers on these Shutts students.

The Tombstoners Band. Christmas Ball 1963. L-R Pete Selby Les Howard, Neil Hampson, Geoff Probyn


L-R Tim Vigus, David Prothero, Ken George, Roger Piers and Partners

That year also saw the Shuttleworth Panto. A tradition that carried on throughout the years in one form or another. By the late 70’s it had become a ‘Revue’ type production. But whichever format it took it was always a great opportunity for staff and students to laugh at and with each other. The 1963 Shuttleworth Christmas Lecture:

Many will remember Lecturers ‘Charlie’ Lye & Steve Willis seen here with Alex Fox their 'pupil'


L-R Les Howard Tim Vigus Brian Allen Bob Kemball David Lines Ken George Dave 'Mr Simms’ Prothero Les Hawksworth Howard Franks and 'Princess’Archie Andrews

Front Row of: Dave Thomas, Dick Welborn, John Simpson, Victim!~Bob Kemball, Alex Fox, Les Hawksworth, Gordon Biggar, Rupert Turner. Well what is the lake for?? Always dangerous to have a lake when there are Shutts students around: 23

The unlucky recipient on this occasion was Bob Kemball President elect. The ceremony was banned after this following a tragic accident in a lake at another college. The following year the chap following Guy was dumped in a cold bath!

Hill House in 1962. First year accommodation


Despite all the high jinks of College life it seems that some work was done! Ken George receiving his Diploma from Mrs Shuttleworth:

62/64 year Reunion in 2012


Fifty Years On One sad casualty of the pandemic has been postponement of the planned Reunion this past summer for the NDA ‘Class of 68-70’ Despite some pressure as a ‘mature’ student (I was ten years older than most of my colleagues, married with a young family) I thoroughly enjoyed those two years at ‘Shutts’. I played rugby, spent the mid-course summer vacation in North America, served on the Student Union Committee AND gained my diploma. Fast-forward fifty years and in 2019 I celebrated a significant anniversary of my own (you do the maths) when my immediate family presented me with a voucher for a ‘taster session’ cycling on the Olympic Velodrome, Stratford, East London.

Cycling has been my way of regaining fitness after a heart problem thirty years ago. I have pedalled many miles on roads far and wide, but not, as far as I can remember, ridden a fixedwheel bike and certainly never been on a velodrome. A friend kindly lent me a ‘fixie’ to ride for a while so I got some idea of the need to pedal all the time and without gears to aid progress. I therefore felt a little more confident when I presented myself at the venue and followed instructions on getting changed, making my way through the tunnel and out onto the track centre which we have seen very often on the tv. So there I was, marvelling at having walked in the footsteps of many ‘greats’. Carefully choosing a track bike from those lined up on a rack, I hired shoes with pedal-compatible cleats and joined my fellow-riders in a nervous line. We were clinging to the railings on the inner part of the circuit, gazing up at the boarding – with angles varying between 12 and 42 degrees 26

and taking in what our coach had to say. It all boiled down to two basic requirements… ride fast and be very careful when changing line on the move. Firstly we were to ride around the lower, level part of the track and then we were directed to venture up the banking – on the straight sections to begin with and then the curved ends as we gained confidence. It soon became apparent why it was necessary to ‘ride fast’. The experience of using the banking is difficult to describe. For many years the basic requirement on a bike had been to stay upright. This was not possible when negotiating the steep slope at the curved ends so … go fast and keep the bike perpendicular to the track! It was a relief to swoop down off the curve to follow the line which marks the inner limit of the track. The hour was demanding and it was very handy to have the railings at which to ‘take a breather’ occasionally. At the end, although very flushed and tired, the dozen of us on that session were all delighted to have had the opportunity to experience riding at a world class venue. Peter Hares NDA 1968 - 70 P.S. Let’s hope that our reunion can go ahead soon. I relish the thought of meeting up with old friends but I expect that I shall drive there, not cycle.

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:



In the News - from our (far) East correspondent May 2020 John Hemmant was in the news when his vineyard, Chet and Waveney Valley Vineyard, was ravaged by late frosts. Our correspondent remembers a Paul Hemmant who was at Shuttleworth 72/73 and is fairly sure they are part of the same family! Richard Hirst (HND 80/83) was hoping that farm-based attractions and the ‘outdoor economy’ could help the hospitality sector recover from Covid 19. The challenge was to make the attractions at Hirsty’s Family Fun Park near Hemsby, safe for staff and visitors, for example making the Maize Maze paths 2m wide. The farm shop at Ormesby had really taken off in the previous 8 weeks with people preferring to avoid the supermarkets and buy local, as well as the shop making deliveries to people who were self-isolating. June 2020 Rain-starved cereal crops were the issue for Kit Papworth (HND 89/92). May 2020 was East Anglia’s driest May on record with Met Office records showing the region received just 4.2 mm of rain; the lowest total since records began in 1862. Although there was some rain at the beginning of June it did not come quickly enough to save some drought-stricken crops. August 2020 Kit Papworth was back in the news talking about weather extremes. He described his harvest as ‘without doubt the lowest yielding and shortest harvest I have been involved with’. Where it was possible to irrigate in the spring, yields were 2 tonnes per hectare better than those without water. As the fourth out of five years that the company had not needed to use its grain dryer, this is possibly another indication of how farming businesses need to respond to climate change e.g. investing in reservoirs. September 2020 After the lack of rain in May there was now a report about the exceptionally wet start to the autumn, with 90mm of rain recorded at North Walsham, Fakenham and Dereham in 48 hours over the last weekend in September. Thomas Love (NDA 71/73) had lifted a third of his potato crop but was worried about the rest. The forecast was awful but he was hoping for some dry weather towards the end of October. There was also a piece in the EDP which gave details of the work British Sugar was doing alongside the Cantley sugar factory. They had been remodelling marshland to create vital feeding grounds for threatened wading birds. If our correspondent is correct, he recognised British Sugar’s agriculture business manager, Richard Cogman as HND 83/86. Richard was describing their work with the RSPB and their support for wildlife and biodiversity around the factory sites. November 2020 The November 21ts edition of the EDP highlighted Norfolk’s first commercial Sheep’s Cheese maker. Jane Murray HND 83/85 is selling her business and wants to make sure that her cheese making recipes keep going in the county. Jane tells her own story: “Who would have thought that the dreaded livestock project would have led to this? 28

Back in the days when the boy:girl ratio was 17:1 the prospect of making a presentation to the heckling & jeering mob was definitely not something to relish, but with some guidance from Richard Hinxman, we four HND girls talked about sheep dairying for what seemed an eternity, but was probably only 20 minutes! Fast forward 15 years & I was not only milking my own flock of 60 Frieslands, but about to embark on a cheese making venture. That was 20 years ago & I have had a wonderful journey. I no longer milk sheep but still make the moment!

I have decided that the time is good to retire (although I was told that cheese makers never “retire” they just get busy with something else) & am hoping to sell my business in the near future.

As I said at the beginning ...”who would have thought...?”


In Memoriam Alas we have lost some members and to all those left behind we offer our condolences: George William Wallis (FC 65/66). We are sorry to report the death of George William Wallis (Bill) on September 15th 2020 after an illness.

Dave Ross (NDA 65-67 ) in June 2020: On leaving Shutts Dave returned to the family farm near Rotherham where he expanded cow numbers, built a new parlour and gradually increased to around 200 acres. In the mid to late seventies he met his wife, Maria Pilar (aka Pili). It was somewhat of a whirlwind romance; she was Spanish and was visiting her brother here who was married to a friend of Dave’s sister. They fell in love, three weeks later he went to Spain after her and they married. He didn’t speak Spanish and she didn’t speak English so they used an English/Spanish dictionary to communicate whilst she experienced one of the coldest winters in England. Despite it all they were together 31 years and had four sons before she was sadly taken with cancer at the tender age of 55, leaving Dave heartbroken. With four sons it was always a challenge as to how they could all get a living from the farm or alternatively should it be sold? The family rose to the challenge and diversified the business with a farm shop and butchery, set up a milk bottling plant and deliver their own milk, and run a successful festival, FarmFest,(a day of live music, food and farming). Having transformed the farm himself in the seventies, Dave was able to see the whole family transform it again in recent years to a thriving diversified rural business. Earlier this year the family featured on a BBC TV programme on the Farmers Guardian Family Farm of the Year Award. I had come across Dave a few times in my BOCM PAULS days as he was a customer of ours and having seen the programme resolved to look him up again after lockdown, but too late I am afraid. Sorry Dave !! Rossco will be fondly remembered by many of us from that era, part of the staunch Yorkshire contingent, always cheerful with his trademark chuckle. He was a rugby player, and a champion of the qualities of Yorkshire beer to which I am now converted as a southerner living in the county for the last 30 years or more. We had so much fun together at Shutts with stories too many to recall (the memories are a bit hazy, not sure whether due to old age now or the amount of beer drunk at the time !!) I know that Dave and Maria would both be very proud of what their family has achieved. Rest in peace Dave.


Colin Mark Teek of Noorongong 4/10/1945-20/3/2018 (NDA 63/65) Colin was on a born on a mixed farm on the western edge of London just after the war. His mother was Irish and his father was from a long line of farmers from the one family farm in Somerset, SW England, going back to 1595. As a small child times were tough and he remembered the farm house full of ‘refugees’ from a bombed out London. Jack, his dad, was often stressed running a farm with dairy and beef cattle, sheep and cropping which supported an additional three families with the farm workers. When Colin was seventeen his grandmothers family farm in Somerset came to his dad and Jack said to Colin “You don’t want a wet old farm in Somerset do you?” Young Colin had always dreamed of sunshine and exotic lands so replied a bit uncertainly, “No”. In 1963 Colin went to Shuttleworth Agricultural College, and had his first taste of real freedom, making lifelong friends with Ants LeFanu and John Mills, to name a few. After a couple of years of college Colin jumped on a ten pound POM ship and came to 1960s Australia. He worked all over Jackerooing, tractor driving, picking fruit and eventually setting up a business crutching sheep in W.A. After a while, itching for change he took a job with the Australian government surveying in the jungles of New Guinea. There he met his future wife Jean, who had moved up there from South Australia with her family to grow coffee. Colin and Jean were married in 1972 and ended up buying a small farm in west Wales U.K., where they had pigs, strawberries, beef cattle and finally a dairy herd. Colin built a big cowshed and attached dairy as in the cold Welsh winters the cattle had to be housed and of course fed lots of silage and hay. After twelve years (and three kids) of much rain and mud Colin realised that they had to get back to the Australian sun. The family emigrated and spent four years running a wild pub in far north Queensland with Jean’s family; something only Colin enjoyed being a social creature. A favourite recollection of Colin’s was a conversation with a local customer. “Colin, how can you go from milking cows in Wales to the notorious Bottom Pub in Kuranda?” He thought about it and quickly came to the conclusion “Actually it is not much different”. “What?” asked the confused and probably very drunk patron. “Well it is the same thing, the animals come in, we milk them, they cr..p everywhere, we kick them out, sometimes forcibly, and then we clean up the cr..p, often with a hose!” In 1987 after selling the pub, Colin and family drove the length of eastern Australia looking at farms. It wasn’t until NE Victoria that they came across country that really grabbed them and in 1988 Colin and Jean bought ‘Stonroy’ in the Noorongong, the Mitta valley, from the Ronans. They both worked hard living tight for many years and managed to pay the farm off. Colin was always heavily involved in the Mitta Valley community, especially Landcare, where he spent twenty five plus years getting grants to benefit farmers and the local environment. Blackberries, a very successful biological control for Patterson’s Curse, tree planting and dung beetles were some of the projects he was instrumental in. In the Mitta Valley and its residents Colin the wanderer had found his place and was happy and content. He loved being ‘up the back’ fencing, spraying, cleaning up timber or whatever had to be done. Retiring from the farm in 2015 he had the place in great condition and had 31

bred a beautiful herd of poll Hereford cattle to pass on to son Ben. Colin always looked at the positives during his year of illness and reckoned he had a lucky life. As was his wish his family buried him at Yabba Cemetery where he can look across the valley at Stonroy and keep an eye on things! A job well done Colin, you will be greatly missed by Jean, family and many friends.

Climate change in the Antipodes Dennis Nicholls NDA 60/62 An open letter to several Australian Newspapers. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology tells us that Australia has passed 1.4 degrees C of warming since 1910 and is perilously close to the 1.5 degrees C of warming that world leaders dread. The Black Summer of the last fire season here demonstrated why. The death toll from the extreme bushfires was 33, low compared to severe bushfires of the past and probably due to early evacuation; but a recent letter sent to the Commonwealth Government by medicos and academics stated that some 3,000 Australians had died from bad air pollution during the fires; the air pollution in the nation’s capital, for a number of days, was worse than that of Delhi. Environmental Justice Australia claims the figure is higher; at 5,000, but both are many times the road toll for 2019. ‘Extreme’ bushfires - as the extreme heat generated causes the pyro cloud (pyrocumulonimbus cloud) formed above these bushfires, causing smoke and cloud to pierce the tropopause and tending to form dry lightning which exacerbates conditions on the ground. These pyro clouds have been increasing in number annually since the 1980s, a graph demonstrates this as a steep rising curve with 2019 having the most so far. Yet, our current Commonwealth Government wishes to bring about a “gas led recovery” from the current financial downturn. This is suicidal. Or are we attempting to increase our per capita emissions of CO2, at 15.4 tonnes p.a., to exceed that of the US, at 6.5 tonnes? It is the intension of Joe Biden to reduce the emissions of the US, so we are likely to surpass the US on the way up! Dennis Nicholls, Canberra. For the full paper on Global Warming and its effect on the climate in the Southern Hemisphere please see the Alumni website. .


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Shuttleworth College Alumni AGM MINUTES OF THE AGM – SATURDAY 20th June 2020 Present: Tony Abbott (Chairman), Richard Infield (Vice Chairman), Sarah Perrett, Mike Williams (Treasurer), Charlotte Maynard (Secretary), Graeme Brown, Paddy Godwin (IT), Catherine Lloyd (College Director), Nick Drury. Apologies: Eric Yates, Claire Van Leersum, Richard Infield. 1. The minutes of the 2019 AGM were accepted and approved. 2. Chairman’s Report: This is the end of my first year as your chairman and what a year it has been! Early in the association year Charlotte Maynard and I attended the College Awards Ceremony in a marquee in the college grounds at the end of June. Mike Johnston (in his final year prior to retiring) told us that in excess of 750 students now attend the college. Catherine Lloyd (the new Director of Field Studies) gave us an insight into the current activities. Charlotte and I also attended the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the Richard Ormonde Shuttleworth Trust in early November where Catherine Lloyd spoke about the college and Princess Charlotte Freifrau John von Twickel (Mrs Shuttleworth’s grand-daughter) spoke about the Trust. On the association’s behalf I was also invited to the Bedford College Group Achievements Ceremony. The total number of students in the group is nearly 15,000 of which 5,000 are full time. We then started to organise the College reunion in earnest (to be held on 20th June). Having got most of the ‘i’s’ and ’t’s’ crossed along came the Coronavirus outbreak. It was fairly obvious that we would be unable to proceed so we then had to ‘undo’ all the arrangements and I thank the committee for their assistance. Luckily there are systems in place nowadays where you can have conference/video calls and we have been using this method since. The committee considered that the correct thing to do was to conduct the AGM by video call which we are doing. The reunion is only postponed and we shall re-arrange as soon as conditions allow. I would like to put on record my sincere thanks to all the members of the committee for the invaluable support and look forward to the time when we can all meet again in person! I would also like to thank Catherine Lloyd who has given us an update on the college activities at every committee meeting. 3. Treasurer’s Report: Mike Williams circulated the statement of revenue and expenditure, capital account and bank accounts. The main expenditure was for donations to the College – including the funding tree (£5,396). Expenditure over 35

income has not really changed since last year. 2020 Expenditure was £7,273 against Income of £2,864 as mentioned, the main expenditure was the donation to the college. The Capital account contains £25,540 split between a deposit account and a current account. 4. Secretary’s Report – Charlotte thanked Tony for his efforts in planning the reunion and expressed her disappointment for it being cancelled due to Covid-19. The conference calls work really well but is hoping we will be able to meet face to face again soon. 5. IT Manager’s Report: Paddy Godwin reported that the database is as up to date as it can be. Paddy has had a couple of people who have contacted him – one requesting a newsletter. Our debtors list seems to be expanding. There is approximately £1,900 worth of debtors on the list. We could write or email them explaining the situation and asking if they want to continue to subscribe (if we do not hear from them we will cancel their subscription in 3 months time), or we could call them (which takes time) or we de-list them so they no longer appear on the debtors list and will no longer receive the email. Paddy feels the best way to contact them is to either phone them or write to them however writing will cost in postage. Tony suggested calling them may be the best option if we share it amongst the committee. It was agreed we would call and we would distribute this amongst the committee later in the year. Mike noted that subscriptions have increased from £1,950 to £2,250 this year so we have recruited some new subscribers. Note the Alumni web site address is 6. Editor’s Report: Graeme suggested he does a round robin at the end of Aug/beginning of Sept to try and get some contributions for the newsletter. He will continue to forward pieces over to Paddy who also still receives regular snippets from Eric Yates from his local press. 7. Students College Report - Catherine provided a college report. This year has been unusual due to the Covid-19 lockdown. The College had to close on the 20th March and all College activities stopped and staff and students moved to an online model of learning. Staff still had to work to run the farm, livestock and equine and have been updating students via photos and videos of new arrivals on the farm. All students will receive an estimated grade for their year as no exams have taken place and the end of year presentation and ball had to be cancelled. Recruitment for September is strong particularly in Equine, Agriculture and Animal studies and the College is looking forward to September and hopefully the students returning to what will be the new norm. 8. Election of Officers for the ensuing year: Chairman: Tony Abbott – proposed by Sarah Perrett, seconded by Charlotte Scott.


Vice Chairman: Richard Infield - proposed by Tony Abbott seconded by Charlotte Scott. Secretary: Charlotte Scott-Osborn – proposed by Richard Infield, seconded by Tony Abbott. Treasurer: Mike Williams – proposed by Eric Yates, seconded by Charlotte Scott. IT Manager: Patrick Godwin – proposed by Mike Williams, seconded by Eric Yates. Editor: Graeme Brown – proposed by Paddy Godwin, seconded by Sarah Perrett. Committee members: Nick Drury, Eric Yates, Sarah Perrett, Claire Van Leersum and Sally Cartwright were re-elected ‘en bloc’. 9. The annual draw then took place: 1st prize (£250): C E Martin, No: 5 2nd prize (£150): R G & J F Watts, No: 87 3rd prize (£50): Paddy Godwin, No: 52 10. AOB. There was no further business to report. This concluded the Annual General Meeting Charlotte Maynard 20 June 2020

Notes from the Editorial Team Thank you all for your contributions to this magazine, without which there would be nothing to print! We were lucky enough to receive a batch of great photos from 62/64 student Ken George. We have used some but you can find all of them on the SCA website. . If anyone else has any photos that they would like to share please send them in to us ( and we can use them next year and/or put them on the website. The Old Students database keeps names, addresses and contact details for many past students. It was originally compiled from data given over by the College and is maintained using Microsoft Access. The information is used to send this Newsletter out and to let members know of Reunions or other events relating to the College. Former students looking to find old friends may contact Paddy to help their search. We do not use this information for marketing or other purposes. If you do not want to be on this database, which is kept STRICTLY private then please contact Paddy Godwin on and we can remove your details permanently. Please forgive us if you find any errors 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. 37

Officers and Committee S.C.A. 2020 Chairman

Tony Abbott

NDA 65/67


Vice Chairman

Richard Infield

ND 90/93



Charlotte Scott




Mike Williams

NDA 65/67


Database Manager

Patrick Godwin

HND 77/80


Committee Nick Drury

HND 81/84


Eric Yates

Retired Staff


Sarah Perrett

HND 77/80


Claire Van Leersum

HND 81/84


Graeme Brown

OND 77/80


College Contact

Margaret Curry

01767 626222


Charlotte Friefrau John Von Twickle

Vice Presidents

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

Graeme Brown, 25 Church Lane, Oulton, Lowestoft Suffolk NR32 3JN, 07775 331830

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. Website :-



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