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Almost 900 years of farming loyalty is honoured at the Royal Norfolk Show

PUBLISHED: 15:21 27 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:36 27 June 2019

The long service awards recipients at the Royal Norfolk Show, with vice-president Lord Cholmondeley, front centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The long service awards recipients at the Royal Norfolk Show, with vice-president Lord Cholmondeley, front centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2019

A total of 891 years of experience and loyalty to the agricultural industry were honoured during the long service presentations at this year's Royal Norfolk Show.

Long service award recipient David Watling at the Royal Norfolk Show. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYLong service award recipient David Watling at the Royal Norfolk Show. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Twenty award recipients, including farm workers, stockmen, tractor drivers, gamekeepers and foresters, were watched by their colleagues and families as the awards were presented by the show's vice president Lord Cholmondeley.

All had served their industry for more than 40 years - but one was honoured with the "super award" for 60 years of unbroken service to his employers.

David Watling, 74, has worked for Robert Perowne in Docking, near King's Lynn for his whole career.

He said: "When I was going to school I was always keen to get on a tractor - they were just coming into their own then.

The long service awards recipients at the Royal Norfolk Show, with vice-president Lord Cholmondeley, front centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe long service awards recipients at the Royal Norfolk Show, with vice-president Lord Cholmondeley, front centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

"I was always happy. You have got to love doing it, really. It is a good life, just being out in the open. I wouldn't want to do anything else.

"I am a 'Jack of all trades'. I have done ploughing, a bit of maintenance and we have now started on 10 acres of grapes, so that's a new venture, but a lot of things have not changed that much."

After the presentations, Lord Cholmondeley praised the combined dedication of all the award recipients.

"When you think of all the ups and downs of 60 years it is even more astounding," he said. "Theses long service awards should be highly honoured in the industry."

Long service award recipient David Watling at the Royal Norfolk Show. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYLong service award recipient David Watling at the Royal Norfolk Show. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The other long service awards were presented to: Michael Thrower, for 59 years at Duffield and sons; David Cator, 55 years, Kirk Hall Farms; Malvern Drewry, 51 years, Billockby Farms; David Oswick, 50 years, Wroxham Home Farm; Andrew Baker, 50 years, JS Young Farms; Stephen Hagon, 47 years, National Trust; Malcolm Burroughs, 45 years, G H Allen Farms; Peter Meachen, 42 years, EF Shingfield and Sons; Andrew Seaman, 42 years, Wroxham Home Farm; Derick Hood, 41 years, Ashworths; Paul Lawn, 40 years, Honingham Thorpe Farms; David Phillips, 40 years, J F Temple and Son; Rex Hardingham, 40 years, Saham Grove Farm; Stephen Newstead, 40 years, Wroxham Home Farm; Gary Nichols, 40 years, Charles Wharton and Partners; Freddy Futter, 40 years, Holkham Estate; John Steward, 40 years, Sporle Farms; Neville Hunt, 40 years, Sporle Farms; Ian Gotts, 40 years, Landmark Support Services; David Parkinson, 40 years, Billockby Farms.

There were also presentations of RNAA Fellows awards for sheep section commentator Peter Buffy Wilcox and showjumping judge John Jacks, and a Royal Forestry Society long service award for David Spooner, head woodman at the Walsingham Estate.

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