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Subject: Re: Lingfield Secondary School Farming Course

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Date Posted: 14:09:37 03/29/23 Wed
In reply to: John Dowling 's message, "Lingfield Secondary School Farming Course" on 15:33:46 04/25/06 Tue

>I attended the Agricultural Course at Lingfield Secondary School in the early 60s. Attending there from 1960 to 63. Both the school and the Agricultural course were co-educational so the addition of girls, having previously attended a boys only grammar school made life at the school more interesting. Many pupils on the 3 year course stayed during the week at locally provided accommodation. I traveled daily from Merton Park, near to Wimbledon, by a number of trains. I was not alone and remember, in particular, Fred Shaw who also traveled by train from Wallington. There were, to the best of my memory, some 20 students in each year group on the course which was run/tutored by Austin Shorney. Despite the school being a relatively rural secondary school there were some brilliant and inspiring teachers. In particular Mrs Esme Gould (English Language) Mr Les Laycock (English Literature) and of course Mr "Jet" Morgan (Geography and Social Studies) I also remember "Mac" Mr McKelvenny (Maths) Mr "Percy" Edwards (Horticulture). Woodwork with Mr Norman Barber, whom I ran into some 20 years later at Redhill College, when I was helping to set up an industry recognised course for Kitchen Installers. I can still recall most of the names of the other course members in my year group as well as some of the other year groups. In particular, one of my good friends was Peter Messer along with Steve Holland, Andy Thompson, Pam Baldwin, Leslie Biscoe, Leslie Beale and many others. In the year group below mine were three course member who also lived near me. Felicty Chick, who sadly later committed suicide. Chris Driver, who I knew
through Scouts, he later changed his name to Chris Mitchell as an actor and found fame in the BBC's "It ain't half hot mom". As well as Richard "Dick" Eve who I knew through church. Dick went on to be a leading light in Agriculture's Further Education as the Principal of two of the country's Instutute's of Agriculture. He sadly passed away from cancer in about 2016. After leaving Lingfield, I like many others who had been on the course, had to find work in farming before going on to further education. My first job was in Cumbria in Askham-in-Furness where I only stayed for a couple of months due to my not being "with the family" for accommodation, I was expected to keep to my room (an old servants quarters above the kitchen. I then found my self in South Wales in Llanfiangel-ar-Arth with a lovely family. This was a mixed, mainly dairy farm, with sheep, pigs and what became my area of responsibilty "Barley beef Calf Rearing". The farmer, Dereck Farr's family also farmed in Raglan near Usk in Monmouthshire and he suggested that I apply to the Usk Institute of Agriculture and would be able to both lodge with and work week-ends with his parents. I duly sat the entrance exam which to my amazement I passed. However it meant that my parents would be responsible for some of the fees, which they were going to find difficult. At this time I was at home for a few days when I received a telephone call from none other than Mrs Esme Gould who had somehow heard of my financial predicament and was offering to to help me. What a fantastic woman. She again made contact some years later when she sent a card on the day of my wedding. Back to education since Usk was not going to happen we applied to Merrist Wood, the Surrey institute , where I was accepted based upon my Usk exam result, however due to numbers there was not a space until the following year. So it was back to more practical experience to be gained. I then spent the next few months working on two very different Welsh hill farms in Carmarthenshire before moving to Sussex where I was in the village of Maplehurst. Working for a spinster lady who had a fabulous herd of pedigree Jersey cattle along with no less than six pedigree Jersey Bulls.
Here, again, I lived in. However the lady together her recently divorced and neurotic sister back home from Canada as well as 9 Dachsunds made life more than a little stressed. After several months I cam to realise that my chances of ever owning my own farm were pretty slim and returned home to consider my options. Fortunately my parents were very supportive and gave me space and time to find my way. After a couple of years where I worked as a cook in a cafe, a gravedigger, a office machinery service engineer. I ended up working in the music business for several years before finding a career in the Fitted Kitchen design & installation industry, which I eventually retired from some 15 years ago.
There are many names, from my time at Lingfield, that I remember which I must list here:- Malcolm Kent, Chris Lomas, Tim Matkin, Howard Weller, Rosemary Harup, Janet Green,Warrick Peak,Keith Delabat, Paul Flowerdew, Bev Yates? Rita King, Pauline Charman, Alan Levec, Steve Young.Heather Jackson.So if you were at Lingfield around the same time then please make contact as it would be great to catch up.

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Re: Lingfield Secondary School Farming Course therealmg11:27:23 04/04/23 Tue

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