I’m 72 now, and it is starting to feel like rather a long day, getting up and down those steps!
Gerald Kington from Chippenham (originally from Luckington) has been the score-board writer here at Badminton every year since 1996. He was first introduced to working at Badminton by the late Harry Norris, Gerald’s former boss in his day job in a contract plant. Harry was involved in running the programme sales at Badminton as well as organising the manning of gates back then, which his son Roger continues to do today.
Now retired, Gerald (pictured, right) said: “I started doing the writing here because it was just something completely different to do. We really enjoy meeting all the people and get asked a lot of questions. You’d be surprised how many people don’t know how to use a compass; we get asked where the East and West wings are rather a lot. We do try and help everyone where we can though.”
Commenting on the intensity of the job on cross country day, he added: “I’m 72 now, and it is starting to feel like rather a long day, getting up and down those steps! So I don’t think I will be doing it forever, but yes, I do enjoy it.”
Gerald’s son Mark (left of photo) takes the calls as they come in from the scorer. “I have been involved in helping here for about 15 years. I got dragged along by Dad and started off selling programmes. Now I help here. I’m a graphic designer in Chippenham, so again it’s just something really different from the day job, I really enjoy coming here.”
The family connection goes even further; Chris Sawyer (pictured centre) is Gerald’s daughter’s father-in-law. Chris, who is also now retired, was busy distributing score sheets and running times to an ever growing line of spectators during the interview, but has also been helping the father and son duo for numerous years.