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Subject: Re: Lingfield Secondary School Farming Course

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Date Posted: 11:27:23 04/04/23 Tue
In reply to: therealmg 's message, "Re: Lingfield Secondary School Farming Course" on 14:09:37 03/29/23 Wed

>>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. Mark Goddard

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