the quizz

perfect bliss?
The animals fed, deadline met, a 10 year malt, the dog at my feet & a roaring fire.

greatest fear?
Missing something.

historical figure?
John Donne.

deplore in one self?
I'm too comfortable.

deplore in others?

What vehicles do you own?
Just the old Land Rover.

Unappealing habits?
I'm not sure.

favourite word?

At the moment, Creation Myths by Robert Graves.

favourite radio station?
Radio Four

Most things by Van Morrison.

Jam roly poly pudding.

My computer.

The Red Balloon.

greatest love?
Not telling.

What has life taught you?
There's a hell of a lot of it.

How would you like to die?

Are you religious?

Charlie Stebbings,
ace reporter and farmer

There have been Stebbings at Wymsey Bottom since 1642 when Captain Charles Stebbings was given 250 acres "in perpetuitie" by the Duke of Hortingham for "loyaltie & serfices diverse." Charles Humpfrey Stebbings was born at Wymsey Bottom Farm in November 1945, at that time his father, Humpfrey Charles, practised traditional mixed farming and Wymsey Bottom was largely independent of inputs.

Haymaking, 1955

Educated at Wymsey Junior School (now the Infants School) and Watchester College, Charlie went on to study Agronomics at the Hortshire Husbandry Polytechnic (now part of the University of Watchester (UWAT) before spending five years farming in the Colonies. The early death of his father in a silage accident in 1970 forced Charlie to return to Wymsey Bottom and the farm has been managed by him ever since.

Wymsey Farm, 1955

Charlie started writing for the Wymsey & District Chronicle in 1980 and many have memories of his weekly "Stebbings Stubble" which covered all aspects of the farming year. His strident views during the Falklands "War" led to excessive leaning from on high upon the Editorial Board of the Chronicle and the end of "Stebbings Stubble."

Granny Stebbings, 1910
Times change and history gets rewritten and by 1995 many people felt the same as Charlie Stebbings did about flag waving. He was reinstated at the Chronicle and given a part-time salaried post and since then has covered many of the strange and exciting events that occur in the area from time to time (See the Wymsey & District Chronicle achieve).

Farming at the end of the century is a difficult and complicated business but in spite of such disasters as BBC Disease and the Great Supermarket Squeeze Charlie remains determined to be true to the land that has been in his family for over 350 years. "Even if it kills me." quipped Charlie as he leant on the gate that leads to the family memorial garden in the churchyard of St Duvet & All Angels, "We Stebbings are here to stay."

Charlie Stebbings writes: "As a reporter on the Wymsey Chronicle I have to say that 1999 was a good year but as a farmer it was tragic. There really is no living left in the land thanks to a mixture of stupid policies from the British government, the EU, international trade and the greedy supermarket chains.

This year we intend to open Stebbings Stores at the farm where we will sell our produce direct to the consumer. Wymsey Torque (a traditional hard cheese) and Wymsey Maid butter are our flagship products and will be on sell alongside our Wymsey Bottom Yogurt,d hams and organic beef."

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