Reprinted from Newsletter 143, dated 2015 July

Trevor Adams: vet, gardener, magistrate, churchwarden John Brunsdon

Trevor with the Tokyo skyline behind him in 2005 — he taught Japanese colleagues about homeopathic medicine for animals.

Trevor Adams, a long-serving member of Glastonbury Conservation Society, died on November 23 at the age of 73.

  He came to Glastonbury in 1963 to join the veterinary practice of Fletcher and Brunsdon on the personal recommendation of Professor Charlie Grunsell of Bristol University veterinary school at Langford. His quiet, pleasant professional manner made him an instant success with anxious farmers and pet-owners alike, and he was soon to join us as a partner in the firm.

  At first he lodged with the Harry and Florence Williams family at Coombe House in Bovetown and then, on marrying Joan Durston from Wraxall near Bristol, set up home on the Avalon estate. When the Lodge in Coursing Batch became available, they moved and raised their family — Neil, Juliet and Miles — in this Italianate Victorian house with its lovely views and large garden.

  Trevor worked hard in the garden, and when farmer Len Berrow sold him more land, planted a number of trees now well established. Later he decided to keep bees, along with the succession of Old English sheepdogs that he and Joan kept, ever since month four of their marriage. A large house is a challenge, but Trevor installed secondary glazing and later solar panels. Neighbours would comment on his make-do-and-mend industry, especially in the early days of living at the Lodge.

  Trevor managed all this on top of his demanding veterinary commitment. Times were changing in farming and veterinary practice generally. Trevor was quick to point out that our firm had to adapt accordingly, especially with expanding work and staffing; thanks to him we managed well and succeeded. When Brian Fletcher retired, Trevor took over the equine work. He was already active in the British Veterinary Association and held an advanced dairy veterinary certificate.

  After I too retired from the practice — which became the Orchard Veterinary Group — Trevor became increasingly interested in alternative veterinary medicine, particularly homeopathic methods. For a while he held a clinic near Bath and was invited to give lectures in Japan and elsewhere.

  Trevor involved himself fully in the community. Among his many activities he was a Round Tabler, a Rotarian and a Justice of the Peace (magistrate). He raised funds to build the Scout Hut in Benedict Street and became group chairman of the Scouts. He was chairman of governors at St John’s School and helped raise funds to build its swimming pool. And he served for many years as churchwarden at St John’s — quite recently with the major proposals for a new floor, general reordering and a porch for the west door. He was a long-serving member of Glastonbury Conservation Society.

  He was a brave man, suffering a protracted battle with leukaemia. Along with Joan and his family we all miss him greatly. Now he is at peace in a beautiful part of the Glastonbury that he served so well.

Words from a fellow vet

From the obituary by Niall Taylor, a colleague, in the Veterinary Record

  When Trevor became a partner in 1968 the Glastonbury veterinary practice was predominantly dairy-based with many small, village farms on the books and as many as 20 visits for one vet in a single morning. Facilities for small animals were limited; a waiting-room doubled as an operating theatre in the back room of the shop premises which comprised the main practice.

  During his nearly 40 years with the practice he demonstrated a first-class head for business and, early on, introduced computerized herd health. Trevor oversaw the construction of two custom-build premises and witnessed both the rise of the small-animal side of the business and the consolidation of the farm side. He once remarked that on the two-mile journey to one of his last calls before retiring, he counted more than a dozen farms he used to visit when he started work that were now closed down.

  Trevor was one of the most modest, compassionate and caring people one could have known, both within the profession and elsewhere. His considerate, gentlemanly manner influenced all those around him and suffused into the culture of the practice, in a way that has lasted to this day; it can honestly be said no one ever had a bad word to say about him.

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