Sir, – What a memorable series the 'Stockman of our Time' is and, in particular, the May 23 edition featuring the great Ian Anderson.

It brought back many memories for me of the late lamented Royal, and Royal Smithfield shows, but in particular Ian talking about his time at Rushmore, in Kent, setting up the Angus, Charolais, and Highland herds, plus overseeing the handling facilities for Robert Montague.

The late Robert Needham and I happened to be in London for a Royal Smithfield Club council meeting the day before the Rushmore open day farm walk in 1986 and were able to drive down for it. It really was an extraordinary day in several ways.

Ian had worked miracles in a very short time in establishing three of the best pedigree herds you could wish to see and not only that, he had designed and overseen the construction of state-of-the-art handling facilities the like of which we had never seen before. There really was nothing there when Ian arrived.

My abiding memory, though, was of the devastation caused by the 1986 hurricane down the east side of England. At the back of the Rushmore yard was a really pretty valley, all grassed down and fenced, but the hillside behind it, where there had been a stand of mature trees, was a scene of absolute carnage.

There was hardly a tree left standing, with the rest scattered about like matchsticks. There were many more scenes like this all the way up the East Coast and further north, of course.

Michael Read