British Guild of Agricultural Journalists
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BGAJ eAlert - August 2014

Harvest Service and Lunch bookings

This marvellous day – Wednesday, October 8 – begins at 11am with the traditional Harvest Service at St Brides Church, Fleet Street before moving on to nearby Stationers Hall for a drinks reception, Best of British lunch and award presentations. Proceedings finish at 3.30pm but many Members and Friends then move to a local hostelry to round off the day with friends and colleagues. Go here to book a place.

Harvest Service contribution

Guild vice-chairman Howard Venters, who organises the Harvest Service and sponsors the choir through Shepherd Publishing, would like a Member or Friend of the Guild to write or choose a poem appropriate to include in the service. “I think it’s really nice to have our members involved in this way,” he says. “Whoever’s suggestion is chosen can also deliver it if they wish during this wonderful experience at St Brides Church.” In past years, suggestions from Louise Impey, Peter Grimshaw and Claire Powell were selected. Email this year’s suggestions to Howard's sister Liz Venters.

Harvest Service and Lunch photography

A free ticket for the Guild Harvest Service and Lunch, plus travel expenses, are available to a photographer member who would like to experience these fabulous events and record them for the Guild website. The main requirement will be to obtain high quality photographs of speakers and award winners, as well as members and guests enjoying the occasion. Please contact website editor Peter Hill (01491 824355).

Charitable Trust prize draw

Sales of prize draw tickets in the weeks leading up to the Harvest Lunch make a significant contribution to the Guild's Charitable Trust capital fund, which is used to help members and their families in need of practical or financial assistance. "We'd really appreciate donations of prizes from Members, Friends or their companies," says Charitable Trust treasurer Diane Montague. "Shopping and experience vouchers go down well, as do small items that we can easily take to the Harvest Lunch for the draw and winners can easily carry home!" All offers to Trustee and draw prizes organiser Anthony Collier please (01869 338635).

Photographers up in the air

Freelance photographers – have you invested in one of these new-fangled UAVs for taking aerial images and video? If so, send a note of what you operate, the services you provide and some examples of situations in which this new angle on agricultural photography is particularly effective. The material will be used for an article on the Guild website, so it is a good opportunity to promote your services – email your contribution to the Guild’s eAlerts/Website editor Peter Hill.

Perkins Power on the Farm Award winners

The winners have been decided, they’ve enjoyed a high-speed boat ride up the Thames and have been presented with their prizes – find out who they are here!

Jobs & Recruitment

Vacant positions are mentioned in Guild eAlerts as a service to members but a recruitment advertising service is also available to organisations that wish to put full details about a post in front of the Guild's 450+ members involved in journalism and commercial communications. More details about this service are available on the website here.

Year Book updates

Update the Guild Year Book with the new job, location and contact details noted here, as well as any new Member and Friend listings below. Earlier updates can be found in the eAlerts Archivesection of the Guild website. Remember to send change of job, address, telephone or email details to Guild secretary Nikki Robertson.

Publication of the 2014/15 Year Book has been deferred this year until after the IFAJ 2014 Congress in September. Members and Friends should continue to notify the Guild secretary of any changes (eg home or business address, telephone numbers and email address) needed for the next edition.

Freelance writer and Energy Now editor Roger Abbott has moved. His home and business address is now: 64 Orwell Road, Felixstowe Suffolk IP11 7PY and new telephone number is 01394 279487. Roger’s email ( and mobile (07780 661805) stay the same.

Machinery freelance Michael Bird has introduced a subtle change to his email address: – is how it now reads, with the all-important ‘9’ added after his name.

Briefing Media’s London office has moved and with it Peter Hollinshead, editor of Dairy Farmer, now located at 83 Victoria St, London SW1H 0HW. His telephone number has changed to 020 3691 5883 but email ( is unchanged.

Freelance photographer Wayne Hutchinson has moved across eastwards from near Kirkby Stephen in Cumbria to Hawes, North Yorkshire. He is now living and working from The Coach House, Ings Houses, Ings Drive, Hawes, North Yorks DL8 3QT. He is best contacted by mobile 07855 416060 or email (, which are unchanged.

Having enjoyed good company, good wine and good food in France for some years, George Macpherson and his wife are looking forward to experiencing more of the same back in England at Craigmore House, Broad Street, Somerton, Somerset TA11 7NH. Email is unchanged but George now has a UK mobile: 07837 517037.

The Campaign for National Parks has recruited Tony McDougal in a part time role as Communications & Stakeholder Engagement Officer, helping to promote the only national charity dedicated to campaigning for national parks in England and Wales. His contact details at CNP are: Campaign for National Parks, 5-11 Lavington Street, London SE1 0NZ. Tel: 07766 133788 Email:

Olivia MidgleyFarmers Guardian news reporter, is also based at Briefing Media's new office location as noted for Peter Hollinshead above. Her office phone number is 0203 691 5887 and her mobile 07787 240750 but email is unchanged.

Westcountry freelance photographer Geoff Pagotto has a new email address:

New Members and Friends

Members who would like to invite colleagues and industry contacts to consider joining the Guild can direct them to the Membership Benefits website page here, where a PDF leaflet is available to download. Anyone involved in agriculture who would like to establish or maintain links with the Guild and its Members can become a Friend to receive eAlerts, attend events and be listed in the Year Book.

On the Guild website….

The Dates & Deadlines panel on the home page gives Guild event details and award application deadlines and access to the full listing of Guild activities through the year.

In News on the Guild website

Guild's former chaplain David Meara retires

'Unsung Hero' accolade for Eddie Gillanders

Rebecca Dawson relishing her role in agriculture

Send in your news

Please send any career news, publication/website launches or redesigns, agency appointments, award wins and campaigns, etc, to website and eAlerts editor Peter Hill.


Contact the Guild secretary, Nikki Robertson, if you wish to: Apply for Retired Member status to pay the reduced subscription Apply to become a Member of the Guild as a Friend who now qualifies for membership Notify a change of bank details for the subscription Direct Debit Norify a change of home or work postal address, telephone numbers or email address Notify that you are resigning from the Guild


Johann Tasker

01206 263807


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