Grand reunion call for members of Kirkley Hall class of 1957

A JOURNALIST turned Emmy award-winning film maker is trying to track down his Kirkley Hall classmates from more than 50 years ago for a reunion.

Kirkley Hall
Kirkley Hall

A JOURNALIST turned Emmy award-winning film maker is trying to track down his Kirkley Hall classmates from more than 50 years ago for a reunion.

Former Journal writer David Taylor, 69, wants to contact the other members of his general agriculture course who studied at the Northumberland College campus in 1957-8.

Mr Taylor, who worked for a string of publications including Farming Express before moving into TV where he produced Farming Outlook, is organising the reunion at Kirkley next month.

He has already managed to trace 25 former classmates and lecturer Alan Higginson, who were spread from the North East to Hungary and Tasmania. Most will be attending the event on July 12 and 13.

But Mr Taylor, who is originally from Whitley Bay and is now the managing director, writer and executive producer of London-based production company York Films, is keen to find the remaining six people he has been unable to locate.

They are Jenny Dodds (last heard of in Hexham), Mike Crozier (late of South Brenkley Farm, Seaton Burn), David Broom (once a butcher in Dinnington), Edward Dunn (former staff member of the Scottish Agricultural College) and Hungarians Csaba Sule and Csaba Balassa (late of Hexham and believed to have returned home after the 1989 collapse of Communism).

Mr Taylor said: “I have good memories of my time at Kirkley Hall – of the students, the lecturers and our inspirational principal John Hetherington. It was a rigorous regime of physical work and lectures but it knocked us into shape. By and large, we emerged to make a good fist of the past 50 years. We’re a practical bunch and the reunion will be fascinating, discovering how we’ve done it, who stayed in farming, who didn’t and why.

“In Budapest a colleague in Hungarian TV is putting out a call for the two Csabas. Nearer home, if anyone has a clue as to the whereabouts of the four missing Brits I’d love to hear from you.”

Mr Taylor has been in TV for more than 40 years, with a career that includes producing the popular science show Don’t Ask Me, which regularly attracted audiences of nine million.

He won an Emmy for writing the prime-time blockbuster 3 Minutes to Impact, which he produced and directed for Discovery Channel USA.

He said: “Although I didn’t end up working in farming or horticulture, my media path has always been linked to what I learnt at Kirkley Hall.”

Member of the class of 1957-8 can contact Mr Taylor on 07880702969 or by emailing david@yorkfilms.com

 

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