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EDUCATIONAL ESTABLISHMENTS


After many years in the capable hands of a head groundsman who had





retired, a contractor had been given the job of looking after the school’s pitches. It would be true to say that the standards had dropped as a consequence


House for what he describes as four very happy years.


He is an unashamed sports fan. He loves football, and admits to being torn between Brighton and Hove Albion and Manchester United and, when younger, played cricket and hockey until knee surgery ruled them out. These days, he is golfer when time allows. It is quickly apparent that having a part to play in the sporting life at Holmewood House clearly fires him. As we talk about the impending cricket season, and our shared love of the game, he utters an unmatchable name-drop. When he was a border at Radley, he was in the same year group as former England Captain Andrew Strauss, he tells me. Working with David at the school are his assistant Ian Hindley and Fiona Gillman, who looks after all of the gardens and everything ornamental. David works under its Estates Manager Anita Randall.


David and Fiona start work at 7.30am and the first essential job every day, rain or shine, is to clear the whole site of any debris using back-pack blowers.


On most days, Ian starts at 8.00am, but has the job at the end of the school day of acting as ‘lollipop man’ at the crossings on the school’s roadway. It is part of the grounds team remit and they will each don the high viz jackets if needs be to man the crossing between 3.20-3.50pm and 4.15- 5.00pm each day.


Daily at 8.30am, they meet together to discuss the jobs for the day and any issues that require their attention.


David will only use outside contractors for work where specialist equipment or additional labour is required. All seasonal spraying work, for instance, is carried out for him by Lamberhurst-based firm Weed Management, and this is always conducted during school holidays to ensure absolute safety.


David Tankard, Head Groundsman at Holmewood House School 98 PC April/May 2019


As far as the artificial surface hockey pitch is concerned, David and Ian handle the routine brush upkeep, but specialist


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