Guild member Philip Bolam died died peacefully in his sleep on the evening of Saturday, April 12. He was 91 in March.
Philip Bolam was Honorary Press Secretary of the Royal Agricultural Societies of the Commonwealth (RASC) until his retirement from that role at the end of 2012 after nearly 15 years. Although he became the ‘face’ of the RASC, he was best known within the agricultural industry as a whole as the head of Barclays Bank’s agricultural division.
In a newsletter article announcing his retirement, RASC honorary secretary Michael Lambert recalls that Philip studied agriculture at Newcastle University during the second World War and in 1947 joined the newly formed National Agricultural Advisory Service (NAAS) in Northumberland, working in both Hexham and Berwick upon Tweed.
Having made his mark, he was appointed deputy in Gloucestershire in 1958 and from there was to work in Norfolk in the early 1960s and in London from 1968 as head of advisory services in the south West of England.
In 1973, Philip was recruited to head up and greatly expand the agricultural division of Barclays Bank and remained in that position until 1989, by which time Barclays was the number one financier of agriculture. Barclays had a large overseas division with strong representation in the Commonwealth and Philip was asked to advise on agriculture in a number of Commonwealth countries.
His association with the RASC, a confederation of 51 Commonwealth agricultural show societies embracing 21 countries across the World, started in 1980 and through this connection he served on the council of the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers.
Upon his retirement from Barclays, Philip devoted more time to RASC affairs and became Honorary Press Secretary in 1990; a role he was to hold until December 2012. He worked tirelessly to promote RASC within the Commonwealth and the agricultural industry worldwide.
Members and Friends who knew Philip well and would like to write to his daughter can ask website editor Peter Hill for her postal address.
Guild members with personal recollections of Philip can email their tributes to Peter Hill.
Michael Lambert, Hon Sec, RASC: Philip was a staunch supporter of the RASC and was an outstanding contributor to agriculture in general, even latterly, when he was physically unable to attend meetings in person.
Liz Snaith: Terribly sad. A long life well lived.
Richard Halhead: A tribute read at Philip’s funeral.