Rotary Club of Reading

My Journey to Rotary - from Tim Metcalfe

Tim with Richard

Tim with Richard Stone

Tim was brought up in Tring where his father, Bob, founder chairman of Tring Round Table and Chairman of Tring Town Council for many years, was one of the sons of F.W.Metcalfe and Sons, ironmongers and general builders. Building work ceased some time ago but a cousin still runs the hardware shop in the high street.

During the 50's and early 60's, the family became disillusioned with the building industry and in 1965, bought a farm just outside Thame which initially Tim's uncle moved to. In 1969 the families swapped over although Tim still completed his education at Berkhamsted School. Prior to attending Shuttleworth Agricultural College, he spent a year working on a dairy farm near to Potters Bar where he first met his future wife, Vicky.

After college, Tim returned to the family farm and started his own business growing potatoes for sale at the farm gate, selling pigs from his own small herd of a dozen sows and establishing a herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle while helping his father with the main arable and beef enterprises on the farm.

In 1982, Tim's parents sold most of the farm to release funds for their children - Tim had an elder brother who was an accountant and a younger sister who was a doctor - and in the Spring of 1983, bought Home Farm at Purley on Thames where Tim, Vicky and ten-day old Mark moved to in the September of that year. For the next 27 years, they milked cows (Vicky's veterinary nurse skills coming to the fore) and securing a contract to supply milk to M&S proved a lifeline. These days the farm runs a herd of 40 pedigree Aberdeen Angus cows, all descendants of the original stock, some arable and hay with a little contracting on the side.

For many years local children/parents enjoyed visiting the farm and the reason given when Tim was asked to stand as a District Councillor was that he was probably the most well-known person in Purley! That was 14 years ago and Tim is still a West Berks Councillor. A past governor of Denefield School, he is still a trustee of the Adventure Dolphin Charity.

The farm lies on a particularly attractive stretch of the Thames and the family are happy for people to share it. Scout Groups of all ages regularly camp on the farm and events such as the National Canoe Marathon Championships have been hosted twice.

And then finally, he was introduced to Rotary, along with Roger Butler, by Richard Stone and we are delighted to have him on board.