Farming Matters: A fond farewell to Virginia

Aylesbury NFU group secretary Virginia Stollery and assistant group secretary Simon Parker at her retirement party
Aylesbury NFU group secretary Virginia Stollery and assistant group secretary Simon Parker at her retirement party

Farmers and their families gathered at Church Farm, Oving, last weekend to bid a fond farewell to NFU branch secretary Virginia Stollery, who retires after serving the Vale farming community for 28 years.

She came here from Wiltshire to be assistant branch secretary and within two years had been promoted to the senior post.

At the surprise party to recognise her achievements she spoke about her years working in Aylesbury and the challenges farmers faced, including BSE and foot and mouth.

She added: “This area is a leader in the way farming has changed and adapted. There are very few farms that Simon and I visit that haven’t got diversification of some kind.”

She was speaking of Simon Parker, the assistant branch secretary for the past 25 years, and Virginia acknowledged that the fellow University of Nottingham graduates have worked together for longer than either of them have been married.

Virginia will now enjoy a happy retirement with her husband Ray, press officer of Bucks County Show, at their home near Whitchurch.

Her successor Mark Wheeler, a Buckingham farmer’s son, is now in place and I hope at some stage over the next few weeks to meet up with him and tell readers about him here.