Liam Bell, NGO Chairman, presents Long Service Awards to six gamekeepers at the British Shooting Show at the NEC Birmingham

The National Gamekeepers’ Organisation is delighted to announce that six talented and long-standing gamekeepers were presented with the NGO’s Long Service Awards at the British Shooting Show held recently at the NEC.

The six gamekeepers, who between them have notched up over 260 years in the profession, were presented with their special Long Service Awards by Liam Bell, Chairman of the NGO.

The six gamekeepers who were presented with their Awards include: Jonathan Owen William Brown (50 years), from Colchester, Essex; Clive Martin Bell (50 years’ service) from Harlow, Essex; Philip Swann (40 years’ service) from Newark, Notts; Victor Randle (40 years’ service) from Upton Magna, Shrewsbury; Mick Mather (40 years’ service) from Worksop, Notts and Adrian Hanks (40 years’ service) from Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire.

As well as an attractive framed certificate the six recipients also received a unique, specially cast medal.  The award is open to full-time gamekeepers, stalkers and ghillies who each have 40 or more years of continuous employment.  A further separate award is presented to those that have 50 or more years’ service under their belt.

A special award was also presented posthumously this year to Michael Montero from Thruxton in Herefordshire. Michael dedicated his life to keepering and was at the first ever meetings of the NGO. A true proponent of the gamekeeping profession, Michael worked at Mapperton in Dorset, before moving to the Whitfield Estate in Herefordshire. Michael’s family were presented with his ‘Lifetime’s Dedication to Gamekeeping’ certificate as well as his 40 year medal.

Liam Bell, said, “It is always a real pleasure to present the 40 and 50 year service medals to these outstanding recipients. Learning about their history from their past and present employers is fascinating and shows the tremendous commitment that these individuals have made to keepering and to managing our countryside. There have been many changes in gamekeeping over the past 40 years and these men have seen them all, have adapted and are an inspiration and an absolute credit to our profession. I am sure they will quite rightly wear their medals with pride.”

The NGO assumed responsibility for running the Long Service Award with the blessing of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) when it was announced in 2015 that the CLA would cease to run its annual Game Fair at which it had made a similar presentation to gamekeepers for many years. To mark the passing of the baton, it was renamed the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation Long Service Award.

In addition, NGO Long Service Awards were made to four further well-deserving gamekeepers who were unable to attend the presentations. These include:  Edwin Hughes (50 years) from Burghclere, Newbury, Berks; Edward Sellwood (40 years), from Lymington, Hants; Ian Hugill,(40 years) from Hackness, Scarborough and David Alan Henry Whitby (40 years) from Petworth, Sussex.

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