Published on 11th December 2016
Paul King, a Retired Member of the Guild and former Senior Advisor at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, died on 1 October 2016.
His daughter Trenica writes that it was due to his private education that Paul had his first taste of agriculture, as he was taught the pioneering methods of biodynamic farming between 1937-41. Upon finishing his education, Paul was employed as a lecturer at the University of Aberdeen, specialising in this area.
He was invited to join the Guild due to his photo-journalism and the technical articles he wrote and was very proud to be a member of the organisation. He was also an assistant producer on farming programmes at the BBC for time, and at MAFF he advised farmers on water supplies, irrigation and drainage.
Though he sought to join the RAF during WWII, Paul was considered medically unfit and so was assigned to national food production – an area in which he excelled. After the war he was farm manager in Essex for John Platts-Mills QC – who was famous for his defence of the Great Train Robbers and the notorious Kray brothers in London – before running his own farm in Suffolk.
In his spare time, Paul was a keen sportsman, sailing dinghies and yachts competitively into his ‘80s. He also played league level table tennis, enjoyed social badminton and was renowned as a crack shot with a shotgun – and as a result was invited to many shoots across East Anglia.
His versatility as a writer was evident from being published in more than 19 publications such as Nursery World, Family Doctor, the Fishing Gazette and Camping & Outdoor Life. Ever the opportunist photographer, he was even published in the populist press in the 1990s, having captured pictures of Take That while at a sailing event near London with his family.
His wife Sue says of her late husband, “He had the ability to adapt and respond to the ever-changing world, whilst remaining faithful to his core beliefs. One of my favourite pictures of him in the last few years shows him working on a MacBook, convinced that these machines were easy to use and that he needed to keep abreast of modern technology.
“He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.”