It’s not always the case that journalists and publishers have hands-on experience of their chosen topic. But as a publisher of magazines for farm and turfcare machinery retailers, Guild member Chris Biddle can certainly write with authority.
He comes from a Somerset farming family, his father worked for International Harvester before joining a Wiltshire farm machinery dealership and Chris spent five years with Ford’s tractor operations (now CNH), working as a demonstrator.
“I then joined the family machinery dealership, where I spent 25 years running branches in Dorset and Somerset,” he says. “During this period I contributed a number of freelance features to trade journals, so when the business was acquired during the 1980s I decided to launch a magazine for farm and garden machinery dealerships.”
That journal, Service Dealer, celebrates its 25th anniversary next year and is the only monthly magazine title for sales and service dealers in the land-based equipment sector.
The sister title Turf Professional was launched in 1998 for the golf course and sports ground market and three years ago, Nelson Publishing, based in Salisbury, was appointed to edit and publish Landwards, the official journal of IAgrE, the agricultural engineers’ organisation.
“Outside publishing, my main interest is cricket,” says Chris. He gained playing membership of the MCC in 1962 and this year celebrates 50 years as a member at Lords.