Cricket fans will understand the High Sheriff’s worst moment

High Sheriff of Suffolk, Mr George Vestey DL Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

High Sheriff of Suffolk, Mr George Vestey DL Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

George Vestey Suffolk High Sheriff talks to Gina Long MBE about the things he loves (and hates) about East Anglia and the worst moment of his life - at Lords cricket ground

Tell us about yourself, George

I've lived in Great Thurlow for 30 years and am the proud father of four amazingly talented children, all in their 20s.

I'm married to Nikki, a professional musician. Along with my three brothers we farm around Thurlow and I run our family business which has food companies that produce, process, import and distribute a wide variety of foods; we also farm in Brazil and have wine interests in Australia. This year I am the High Sheriff of Suffolk.

Life is seriously tough for too many but it has been a humbling experience to meet so many people who do so much to help. I am championing volunteering as it's the glue that binds our communities together.

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What is your connection to East Anglia?

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I am third generation west Suffolk, my grandfather having moved from Kent in the early 40s as he thought Kent was becoming too crowded.

What is your East Anglian Heaven ie what do you love most about East Anglia?

The wide open spaces and big skies.

What is your East Anglian Hell ie what you hate most about living here?

The wind when it blows from the Urals. The Suffolk mud isn't great either.

What's your favourite East Anglian restaurant?

The Victoria Inn, Holkham.

What's your favourite way to spend an East Anglian evening?

Walking the dogs round the woods in Thurlow on a glorious summer evening.

What's your favourite East Anglian landmark?

The cathedral tower, Bury St Edmunds.

What's the best thing that happens in East Anglia every year?

Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival.

What your specialist Mastermind subject?

First class batting and bowling averages since 1972.

What is always in your fridge?

A steak from Donald Russell, Scotland's finest butcher.

What's your simple philosophy of life?

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

What's your favourite film?

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. What was your first job?

Army officer.

What is your most treasured possession?

The watch my mother gave my father on their wedding day in April 1960.

Who do you admire most?

Horatio Nelson, the most inspirational leader.

What is your biggest indulgence?

The opportunity to sit and properly listen to music

What do you like about yourself most?

I enjoy talking to anyone.

What's your worst character trait?

Timekeeping – I talk too much.

Where is your favourite holiday destination?

My wife wishes I would say the Maldives but it's got to be the mountains on the west coast of Sutherland.

Best day of your life?

Becoming a father.

What's your favourite breakfast?

Crispy streaky bacon, fried eggs, the best black pudding money can buy from Cockburn's of Dingwall followed by sourdough toast and Cottage Delight thin cut marmalade.

What's your favourite tipple?

A glass of whiskey after a long and probably wet day in the Scottish mountains.

What's your hidden talent?

I managed to take off and land successfully in the F-15 and KC-130 simulators at RAF's Lakenheath and Mildenhall on a recent visit to the US Airforce (sorry to say the High Sheriff of Norfolk crashed both times) so I'm thinking of applying to fly fast jets.

When were you most embarrassed?

Honestly, there are too many to mention. Maybe ask my children.

What's your earliest memory?

Learning my mother was going to have a baby – I was hugely relieved I was no longer going to be the youngest.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

How Great Thou Art composed by Stuart K. Hine.

Tell us something people don't know about you?

I'm a fully qualified butcher.

What's the worst thing anyone has ever said to you?

Being dropped to 12th man and spending all day in the pavilion for my one and only cricket match at Lord's. I'm a cricket nut and was desperate to play on the hallowed turf. It still hurts.

Tell us what you live here and nowhere else.

You can't beat the East Anglian landscape, villages and people.

What do you want to tell our readers about most?

Please nominate any outstanding volunteers and charities you know in Suffolk for the High Sheriff Awards ceremony in Wherstead at the end of March – Suffolk's finest will be there and it's a great opportunity to recognise and thank our unsung heroesFull details on the Suffolk Community Foundation website -

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