Farm and rural workers from across the West Country were recognised at the Royal Bath & West Show in the annual Long Service Awards.
With some 382 years of experience between them, the eight recipients were nominated by Members of the Royal Bath & West of England Society for their long standing hard work in the agricultural and farming sectors.
Racking up an incredible 64 years’ experience, Mr Norman Clothier of Wells began has farming career with hand milking at just five years of age. Today he runs Home Farm at Ston Easton, a successful dairy and sheep unit.
Hailing from Andover, Hampshire, Mr Ernest West began his agricultural career in 1974 on Frank Bucknell’s arable & dairy farm. Latterly Mr West has worked with Mr W Flaubert on his arable & stock farm, as a fully trained agriculture craftsman.
Mr Peter Harding of Marksbury will soon be celebrating a half century in farming. For the last 42 years of his 49 year career he has been at Manor Farm, Corston, while being an active member of the community serving on the parish council and as a committee members of Marksbury Village Hall.
Award winning dairy farm manager Mr John Taylor started his farming career 44 years ago on a local Devon dairy unit. Today he works at Worthy Farm, Pilton where in 2014 he led the herd to win the prestigious NMR, RABDF Gold Cup.
Mr Martin Sperring (East Harptree) and Mr Malcom Teague (Congresbury) both celebrate 43 year careers this year with both working with the same businesses throughout. An employee of Mr Colston Gay’s family since leaving school, Mr Sperring has carried out almost all the tasks on the farm over the years, proving himself an honest and trustworthy person that the family feel lucky to have known.
Majoring on the arable / mechanical side of the Alvis family business, Mr Teague has embraced the development of agricultural technology and is still a key member of the team – a safe pair of hands and a great stalwart to the business.
With 42 years of service apiece, Mr Timothy Brown of Ilminster and Mr Christopher Gibbs of Stalbridge Weston are both integral members of their teams. Mr Brown’s hard work and enthusiasm have been essential to the success of the farming activities of the Dillington Estate, where he is as part of the dairy team and the arable and potato enterprises. Representing the fifth generation of a farming family, Mr Gibbs was by the age of 12, on occasion, milking the family herd single handed. In 1976 he joined the Inwood Estate and by the late ‘90s was running two dairies before becoming the overall manager of Inwood Estate Farms in 2001. Focusing his efforts on the health of his stock he lives by the creed; ‘If the cows are healthy and happy their milk yield and quality is always good’.