The real Herriot to my first home
this music and surrounded by Yorkshire’s allure, there were times when I experienced such emotion I couldn’t put it into words. In essence I felt as though life couldn’t get any better.” Alf’s generosity was demonstrated again when Peter wed his beloved partner Lin. Alf gave them a hand-carved table and knocked £1,000 off the £7,000 loan he had given Peter to buy an ex-girlfriend out of a house they lived in. Like Alf, Peter was dedicated to his job and he tells how he even fitted in a farm visit while taking Lin to hospital to give birth in 1987. “Doctors said Lin needed a caesarean,” he says. “I wanted to drive her there. But I decided to look in on some cows first as it was a long-standing client and it was on my way. Lin wasn’t surprised but we did make it to the hospital for Emily to be born.”
Peter also chronicles the sad times, such as 1995, when Alf died of cancer and Donald took his own life months after his wife died.
Donald had backed voluntary euthanasia and, says Peter, took an overdose of pills normally used to “euthanise vicious dogs”.
Peter also recalls the 2001 foot-and-mouth epidemic, saying: “It was a devastating period that saw the slaughter of animals in a desperate bid to prevent disease spreading. I was at the centre of
this storm. Myself and Lin were invited to lunch with Prince Charles at St James’s Palace for my efforts. I found myself joking with the heir to the throne when a Welsh farmer told us he’d been given £7 for his daughter’s three guinea pigs who had to be killed. Prince Charles asked what the £7 was for.
“I leaned in and said ‘meat value, Sir’. I was joking but I wasn’t poking fun at the guinea pigs. It was just that a few pounds for three innocuous pets, when entire communities had been decimated in an emergency that cost billions, was surely an
occasion for a Peter with actor Christopher Timothy little black humour. Lin asked a waiter for a wine label as a souvenir and he gave her an unopened bottle from Highgrove. She came out with it under her jacket as if she’d stolen it!”
In 2015 Peter became a star of TV himself with the fly-on-thewall series about life at his practice. The Yorkshire Vet is now in its seventh series, pulls in two million viewers on Tuesday nights and sells to a global audience too.
The Yorkshire Vet – In The Footsteps of Herriot is out in hardback. Use the offer code VET at mirrorbooks.co.uk or call 0044 1256 302699, lines open from 8.30am to 5.30pm,
TWO TV VETS