About Chris Biddle

 

Born in Wells, Somerset, Chris was educated at Salisbury Cathedral School and Kings School, Bruton.

His father was brought up on a farm (located on the  current Glastonbury Festival site), but left to join International Harvester as an area manager selling milking equipment. He was later to take over an old established farm machinery dealership in Wilton, Wiltshire in partnership with a former IH colleague.

 

His mother came from a family involved  in the cheese industry, his grandfather was a distributor and travelled the country grading Cheddar cheese for the (then) Milk Market Board.

Chris joined  Ford Tractors (now Case New Holland) in the early 1960s as a demonstrator based at the iconic Boreham House Training School, taking part in demonstration tours in the UK and Europe.

 

He then joined the family owned farm and grass machinery dealer, A Brewer & Co based at Wilton, near Salisbury, working as a farm machinery salesman. He then managed the company’s grass machinery division during which time he arranged for the company to handle the UK distribution of the Australian Rover mower range.

 

When A Brewer & Co acquired a neighbouring dealer with branches in Somerset, Dorset and Devon, he moved to Dorset as Managing Director of A Brewer & Company (Dorset) Ltd.

 

After ownership of the company changed, he initially helped his wife Trish run the family guest house in Weymouth, but then decided  to pursue his interest in journalism and launched his first magazine, Garden Machinery Retailer in 1988, subsequently renamed Service Dealer.

 

In 1998, he launched Turf Professional (Turf Pro) magazine for golf greenkeepers and groundsmen responsible for the upkeep of the UK's sporting venues.

 

In 2015 Chris sold the magazines to Duncan Murray-Clarke of Wallingford-based Land Power Publications.

 

He wrote a book, The Budding Legacy in 2015 which traces the history of the inventor of the lawnmower, Edwin Budding – and in 2016 presented a Blue Plaque to Stroud District Council to be erected on the site of Budding’s original workshop (now a brewery).

 

In 2008 he was also appointed Editor of Landwards, the professional journal of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers, a post he held until he decided to retire from the role in December 2019.

 

In 2020, after almost 60 years in the agricultural and turf machinery industry, he launched the Inside Agri-Turf podcast after teaching himself podcast production and audio editing during the UK lockdown as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic.

Appointments and Awards

  • Chairman Ford Tractor Dealers Association

  • Vice President British Agricultural and Garden Machinery Association (BAGMA)

  • Member of British Guild of Agricultural Journalists (BGAJ)

  • Founder (1988)  and Editor of Service Dealer magazine

  • Founder (1998) and Editor of Turf Pro magazine

  • Fellow of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE)

  • 2012  Industry Lifetime Achievement Award presented at Windsor (below)

  • 2020  Winner of Institution of Agricultural Engineers 2020 Award for Contribution to the Landbased sector

2012 Service Dealer Awards
Picture6.jpg

At home

 

Chris is a former player, and now keen follower of cricket, becoming a member of the prestigious Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in 1963, and played many matches for the Club over several season and for other leading cricket clubs taking part in playing tours to Holland and Barbados.

 

He was also a playing member of Salisbury Rugby Club  and an enthusiastic high-handicap golfer. His most memorable experience was winning the World Matchplay Pro-Am played at Wentworth partnering leading US tour player Lanny Wadkins in a field that also included Gary Player and Seve Ballesteros

Married to Trish, with two daughters (Emma and Juliet) and a son Mark, and four grandchildren, the couple celebrated their Golden Wedding in 2015. (below)