Two former Guild members have decided to rejoin to keep abreast of developments in the industry and retain links with friends and former colleagues
George Macpherson is consultant editor to the magazine Appropriate Technology but spends more time, he says, writing novels with a strong agricultural and natural resources connection.
“They’re also romantic and racy adventures based on my experiences working in Africa, but with anthropological, political and musical connections,” says George. “So far, I’ve written two and I’m nearly at the end of a third since moving to France in 2006.”
After studying at Seale Hayne and service in the Royal Air Force, George worked on farms in Britain and spent 10 years in Africa before returning in the 1970s to become a journalist.
“I finished up as managing editor of Independent Farm Business News, the daily internet news service published on Farming Online,” he recalls. “Before that, I was a presenter/producer of BBC Farming Today and BBC Farming World (on the World Service), and I produced or presented medical and music programmes on BBC Radio Four, Five and ITV’s TV South.”
George was also editor of Big Farm Management and an occasional contributor to other magazines, including Farmers Weekly.
As well as spending time at the computer, George is in his fourth year learning the cello and playing (on the back desk) in a symphony orchestra of teachers and pupils based in the city of Perigueux. He sings and plays piano for a local choral society; and plays flute in the town band for Bastille Day and other national occasions.
In what is clearly a busy life, he is also editor of the Clan Macpherson Association annual journal Creag Dhubh.
George also has a cottage to rent at his home 2 miles south of Riberac, which is 50 minutes north of Bergerac, the nearest UK connection by air. He offers a special rate for direct bookings and can be contacted by email.
Retired machinery writer Richard (Dick) Lee joined IPC as a staffer on Agricultural Machinery Journal (AMJ) under editor Tony Halse and with Graham Fuller (see News) and worked on the title for 12 years, the last seven as editor.
“My employment with IPC was terminated on trivial grounds and my subsequent Tribunal Appeal was supported by the Institute of Journalists under the late Bob Farmer who obtained substantial compensation for me,” recalls Dick. “That gave me the opportunity to set up Tractor & Farm Machinery Trader magazine for UK dealers, which ran for some 25 years.”
After retiring from writing, Dick joined a number of overseas missions organised by AEA, the agricultural machinery manufacturers’ organisation. He also travelled to the Galapagos with the BBC’s John Craven and to Peru with John and Angie Scott of the ‘Big Cat’ programmes while researching his pet subject – loci sensing of mobile animals.
“It’s a theory that claims migrational instincts are in-bred in all types of animals, including birds, fish and mammals, as well as certain insects and amphibians,” he explains.
While serving with the Co-op as a tea planter in southern India aged 22 to 26 years, Dick met the young woman he married more than 50 years ago. They have a daughter, three sons and five grandchildren, all of whom live locally in Havering Borough at Romford near Raphaels Park for the past 15 years.