The high pro­file cre­ator of Grange Hill, Brook­side and Hol­lyoaks doc­u­ments his year as a ‘plus one’ sup­port­ing his wife, Alexis, in her role as High Sher­iff of Cheshire Cheshire Life: Novem­ber 2018

Cheshire Life - - Chat -

From wellies to din­ner jack­ets, ploughed fields to in­dus­trial es­tates and vil­lage halls to cathe­drals. Such is the life of the High Sher­iff’s plus one.

Whether with the Nantwich Probus group, at­tend­ing na­tional her­itage ar­chi­tects Don­ald In­sall As­so­ci­ates 60th an­niver­sary with the Lord Mayor, or be­ing in Crewe with the Lord Lieu­tenant pre­sent­ing a Queens Award for In­ter­na­tional Trade to Boyds Con­sul­tancy who work in gene ther­apy, look­ing over the shoul­der of the HS is a con­stant source of in­spi­ra­tion and re­flec­tion.

Prime among re­flec­tive events this month was the An­nual Plough­ing and Hedge­cut­ting Match in Plum­ley, where the Richard­son fam­ily were host­ing the 94th event, at­tended by its Pa­tron, Lord Chol­monde­ley.

As usual, I was struck by both the at­ten­dance fig­ures, over 2,500 peo­ple, on a Wed­nes­day, as much as the ob­vi­ous com­mu­nity spirit that un­der­pinned the dis­play of agri­cul­tural his­tory. From four-legged horse­power, through vin­tage and mod­ern trac­tors, it was in­ter­est­ing to re­flect how agri­cul­ture has al­ways been at the fore­front of tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tion. It is nearly 300 years since Jethro Tull’s seed drill kick­started the agri­cul­tural revo­lu­tion which in turn, quite lit­er­ally, fed the In­dus­trial Revo­lu­tion.

It was also some­what re­as­sur­ing to watch man and horse at one, cut­ting a per­fect fur­row, know­ing that even as agritech em­braces the in­creas­ingly ir­re­sistible ro­bots and GPS po­si­tion­ing, there will al­ways be a few folk around to keep things grow­ing if and when cy­ber­war breaks out and the trac­tors start tear­ing up the hedgerows and the agridrones start fall­ing from the sky.

Re­as­sur­ance was also found dur­ing a visit by the Princess Royal, who is no stranger to wellies her­self, when she opened Safety Cen­tral, the new train­ing and ed­u­ca­tion cen­tre for Cheshire Fire and Res­cue in Lymm. The key mes­sage of the day was as sim­ple as it was ob­vi­ous: preven­tion is bet­ter than res­cue.

Yet, like plough­ing, we can only progress by hand­ing down skills and to do this we need ded­i­cated, skilled and highly mo­ti­vated pro­fes­sion­als pass­ing on their ex­pe­ri­ences to each gen­er­a­tion. Some­times that ex­pe­ri­ence has been hard earned, through in­jury and loss of life af­ter mem­bers of the emer­gency ser­vices put them­selves in harm’s way on our be­half. Go­ing above and beyond the job de­scrip­tion.

This was ev­i­dent at Cheshire Po­lice’s ACE Awards where the HS gave out the Vol­un­teer Award to Karolina Kar­das who vol­un­teers as a trans­la­tor in Crewe. ACE, stand­ing for Achiev­ing Cheshire Ex­cel­lence, may be a tau­to­log­i­cal stretch, but it sums up the award win­ners per­fectly. In Scouse, be­ing boss.

Oh, and on be­ing Scouse, I man­aged to squeeze in two of my own events. A Leg­ends of In­dus­try Award from Va­ri­ety and a Grange Hill 40th an­niver­sary din­ner in Lon­don, both of which filled me with a warm glow of nos­tal­gia and pride. They were also re­minders of why my knees are so creaky and how long I have been with the High Sher­iff. Be­hind ev­ery In­dus­try Leg­end is a leg­endary woman.

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