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35 Years and Counting

Celebrating the fascinating life and insights of Chris Nash, loyal member of our Estates team

The 16th June 1986 marked the start of a long career at the Trust for Chris Nash, our much-loved Gardener and General Estate Worker. Chris is the friendly face you’ll often meet or perhaps glimpse in the gardens and grounds of our Head Office in Fairford, and the surrounding area.

Chris’s career began under the leadership of John Malleson, the Trust’s Agent and Secretary to the Trustees, with Lord Saye and Sele as Chairman. In those early days, he recalls rarely stepping into the Office, and always seeking out (the late) Betty Gaiger, Secretary to the Agent, as the ‘go to’ person when help or further instruction was needed.

He was once entrusted to act as Chauffeur at a high profile Trust event, driving VIP guests to Oriel College, Oxford, such was the diversity of his role.

You knew your place

says Chris respectfully, describing a very different era of the Trust, much removed from today’s inclusive structure, vastly expanded activities and diversity of roles.

He recalls the formation of the Education Dept in the early 2000s (now the Learning team), a move that has enabled the Trust to become one of the UK’s foremost providers and funders of Outdoor Learning. He has also seen grant giving dramatically increase, from an approximate annual £500K in the 1980’s to today’s impressive figure of around £2.5million, testament to the Trustees’ astute management of the charity’s assets.

Chris has worked under the leadership of Agents John Malleson and Nicholas Ford. Today’s Chief Executive (as the role became known), Dr Victoria Edwards, invited Chris to an exclusive Chelsea Flower Show event in 2019 – one of his more memorable days working for the Trust, especially as celebrity chef Rick Stein was doing the cooking (something Chris also excels at).

When he’s not maintaining gardens, unblocking drains or relocating filing cabinets at Head Office (his diverse role continues!) Chris recalls his nights playing drums in Country and Western band, ‘Springfield Express’.

We performed at venues from Brighton to Burton-on-Trent and anywhere in-between.

The band caught the attention of the media of the day, including BBC Radio Gloucester, and even cut a record.

For over 20 years, Chris oversaw the running of the Trust’s holiday cottages in Fairford, with the help of his wife, Judith, as Housekeeper, and Maxine Luker. Many guests became regular visitors, appreciating their care and attention to detail, hallmarks of Chris’s work ethic throughout his long career.

We congratulate Chris on this latest milestone and look forward to many more years of service as part of the Estates team, which we’re pleased to say also includes his son, Dan. We salute your contribution to the important work of the Trust.