‘Betty, my two tonnes of lovely deliciousness'

Country Smallholding|July 2020

‘Betty, my two tonnes of lovely deliciousness'
Smallholder and mortgage team supervisor Jeff Brinkley has a particularly deep affection for his 18-year-old Land Rover 110, which perhaps should be making wife Mags as green with envy as the trusty vehicle’s very own colour
Jeff Brinkley

One October day in 2014 Jeff Brinkley set off for work. It was a normal day in so many ways, with nothing out of the ordinary happening during his usual shift at the bank, where he was supervisor of a mortgage team. He returned to his Rotherham home in the evening to find his wife, Mags, sounding rather chuffed. Tasked with searching online for their first smallholding, she had located two.

“Where are they?” questioned Jeff.

“Mid Wales,” Mags replied. It wasn’t exactly the Peak District location where the couple had tentatively been planning to settle. Nevertheless, they soon found themselves trundling down the A38 towards Welshpool in Powys.

“One place had more land, but wasn’t as viable, being pretty much unliveable at that point,” Jeff explains. “The other had half an acre, and needed work and care and love, but Mags could see straight through the Clampett-like interior, and I loved the views, plus the land was workable, although in no better state than the house.”

Jeff and Mags decided to take the plunge. They sold their Rotherham home in two weeks, purchased the holding and were safely installed with their two teenage children, Isabel and Thomas, in less than three months.

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July 2020