My East Anglian Heaven and Hell - Lord Iveagh

Lord Iveagh Picture: Submitted

Lord Iveagh Picture: Submitted - Credit: Archant

Gina Long MBE quizzes Lord Iveagh on his love for East Anglia.

Lord Iveagh took on the custodianship of the Elveden Estate in 1992, the fourth generation of the Guinness family to be linked with Suffolk, and the first generation to make Suffolk their home. Born and bred in Dublin, and following active service in the House of Lords, Ned or Edward as he is known, and his wife Clare play a role with various local charities including the East Anglian Air Ambulance, The NSPCC, and the Chadacre Agricultural Trust.

Q: What is your connection to East Anglia?

A: My family have been here since purchasing the Elveden Estate from the Indian Office in 1895.

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

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A: The natural open spaces, the understated, down to earth nature of the people in our glorious counties.

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

A: Being stuck on one of our roads, or waiting for hours in a doctor's surgery.

Q: What's your favourite East Anglian restaurant?

A: As I can't select the The Elveden Courtyard or the Elveden Inn, it's got to be Maison Bleue in Bury St Edmunds, and Memsaab Indian restaurant, Lavenham.

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

A: Exercising on my ElliptiGo bike, minor tree surgery and scrub busting.

Q: What's your favourite East Anglian landmark?

A: The Elveden War Memorial - where I'm so nearly almost home!

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

A: Christmas – being at Christmas at Elveden is particularly special. Seeing children and adults delight at the Newfoundland dogs, the reindeer, or Father Christmas being here. In reality there are so many good things up and down our counties, and often it's the countless little things that happen each day, so many small acts of kindness – now why can't we celebrate these little things in all of us, some more?

Q: What's your specialist Mastermind subject?

A: Guinness, the beverage, which my family made for 233 years.

Q: What is always in your fridge?

A: Clonakilty white pudding.

Q: What's your favourite film?

A: The Blues Brothers, which I love for its music, and its message.

Q: What was your first job?

A: My first pay packet came from Buccleuch Estates, where I worked under the assistant land agent, at Drumlanrig Castle, Dumfries, Scotland. Through this experience I came across the workings of forestry, and game management, agricultural tenancies and the management of property. Buccleuch, with its meats, was one of the first to successfully narrate the story behind the food supply chain.

Q: What is your most treasured possession?

A: Dogs are sentient beings, I have two black Labradors, if I can't count Bubble and Widget, it must be the retention of my robust health and my active lifestyle.

Q: Who do you admire most?

A: Jenny Easton, whom has worked tirelessly giving epic service to our East Anglian Air Ambulance, as a volunteer.

Q: What is your biggest indulgence?

A: My vehicle collection, a diverse range of cars and lorries, dated from 1928 onwards.

Q: What do you like about yourself most?

A: The ability (occasionally) to hold back, to give a considered view

Q: What's your worst character trait?

A: I am terribly untidy, which is linked to finding it difficult to throw things away.

Q: Where is your favourite holiday destination?

A: The hills of Valencia, in Spain, where I bicycle a lot, and enjoy great food, and the warm sunshine.

Q: Best day of your life?

A: May I have three? My wedding day and the days my two sons were born.

Q: What's your favourite breakfast?

A: Irish breakfast - with white pudding – if I am feeling healthy, I will eat a grapefruit, I am not a great breakfast eater, and most days I thrive on coffee alone.

Q: What's your favourite tipple?

A: If I can't say Elveden ale or Guinness, it must be Wolf brewery's Golden Jackal ale.

Q: What's your hidden talent?

A: I do like to sing – old hymns and Irish rugby anthems are The Best!

Q: When were you most embarrassed?

A: Making a poor public appearance, having being asked to say something in public.

Q: What's your earliest memory?

A: The earliest recollection was picking up a disfigured teaspoon, and being told that our elderly kitchen help had bitten into the object, as the marks on it resembled teeth marks; for some considerable time I believed this was the case.

Q: What song would you like played at your funeral?

A: A hearty good Wesleyan hymn; one which lifts the spirits as much as strain your vocals. I don't know which one, I haven't planned the occasion as I plan to live for some yet.

Q: Tell us something people don't know about you?

A: Surviving a plane crash. It was a propeller plane that came down in the desert of Peru. We waited for many hours afterwards under the wing in the heat of the sun draining the plane dry to utilise as drinking water.

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

A: These are not printable! 'He's a one..' is so much more welcome than the being of a nothingness!

Sometimes introspection unearths some truth in bad things said.

Q: Tell us why you live here and nowhere else.

A: Moving up here was a great thing to bring up two small boys and tend to family business.

Q: What do you want to tell our readers about most?

A: This weekend is our Christmas Fair and over the following weekends leading up to Christmas we have the Newfoundland dogs, reindeer and Father Christmas appearing. For the very first time there will be a skating rink in the Walled Garden until early in the New Year. Do come along, there's something for everyone to enjoy. I look forward to seeing you there!

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