31 May 2019
A bowl from the 1960’s Harper Adams University dining hall has been returned by a former student who took it as a memento of his university days.
Gordon Hughes, who studied the National Diploma in Agriculture from 1965 to 1967, recently returned the bowl to Harper following a visit with a sheep specialist group alongside lecturer Kate Phillips who teaches Ruminant Production and Nutrition.
Gordon remembers fondly: “Every student had a memento whether it was a road sign or police hat – that’s why I had the bowl. When I came to the University for the Golden Anniversary Reunion, which was my first time back, I thought I should return it. It would have been something funny to talk about.”
After the passing of his father Gordon, aged 16 at the time, took control of a team of six people after his uncle passed him the reigns due to his knowledge of the farm. The farm helped support the local village where Gordon took control of management along with specialising in sheep farming – also producing dairy and beef to create a profitable income through food production.
Two years later Gordon made the move to Harper Adams, getting onto the course a year earlier than planned due to places coming available thank to people dropping out.
On Harper Gordon said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Harper Adams, especially being away from home. I had a fantastic time and there was a lot of student pranks back then.”
Thanks to his 6"6 frame, Gordon enjoyed time playing rugby and hockey, along with cross-country running.
Gordon speaks particularly fondly of livestock lecturer John ‘Chappie’ Luscombe who he says had the ‘gift of the gab’ with the industry and was very good at holding the attention of a class. Gordon was always eager to make sure he was sat in the middle for Chappie’s lectures.
Gordon remembers: “He would ask questions immediately after talking on a topic, then repeat the same question every fifteen minutes, even to the same person to try and catch them out if they weren’t paying attention and would change their mind on the answer.”
Gordon went on to work for NAAS (now ADAS) following a year studying Business for a year after finishing at Harper Adams before refocusing his career to become a financial advisor in his 40’s. He sold his business QED Financial prior to the economic collapse in 2008.
He now works as an ‘introducer’ and has vast experience in public speaking – taking on a course in the area to tackle a speech impediment which worked wonders for him.
On public speaking Gordon notes: “Tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them.”