The Groundsman

September 2014

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IOG 80TH ANNIVERSARY 18 the Groundsman September 2014 Visit for more information and digital editions s Bob Corbin celebrates his 99th birthday (23 September 2014) the 'bothy boy' can look back on a lifetime of achievement in groundscare and horticulture. His accreditation as a founder member, Fellow and life member of the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) and as its president for 10 years – his early days with the institute saw him rubbing shoulders with the likes of Bill Bowles, founder of the National Association of Groundsmen, which subsequently became the IOG - adds to a long, long list of professional accolades: • Associate of Honour, the Royal Horticultural Society • Fellow of the Institute of Horticulture, and Achievement Award A Bob the Bothy Boy A founder member, president for ten years and Fellow of the Institute of Groundsmanship, Bob Corbin has enjoyed a spectacularly varied career since he began life "at the bottom of the pile" as a garden boy By: Colin Hoskins • Fellow of the Linnean Society • Associate member of the Institute of Park & Recreational Administration. Lifetime achievement His lifetime spent as a gardener, traveller, lecturer, photographer, journalist, broadcaster, writer and show judge – including, notably, horticultural manager at the Greater London Council – includes salutations as being a member of the International Federation of Parks & Recreational Administration, executive committee member of the National Dahlia Society, member of the board of governors of the Norwood Hall Institute of Horticultural & Agricultural Education, member of the Gardeners' Royal Benevolent Society, committee member of the British Standards Institute (dahlias, trees and shrubs, nursery stock, chrysanthemums and ground cover land use), and committee member of the Arboricultural Association. In 1999 he was presented with the Institute of Horticulture Achievement Award for services to the institute through his employment and consultancy on sports grounds and park management, and for his services to many horticultural organisations. And in 2004 he was awarded an IOG Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding contribution to the sports ground management profession and industry. A knack for the job Not bad at all for a dyslexic and colour- blind Hampshire lad who started his working life aged 14 "at the bottom of the pile", he says, "working as a garden boy for two elderly spinsters in Hampshire. It was a job that set in motion a remarkable career in the world of gardening that saw him working at some of the finest country mansions in the UK and completing a studentship at the Royal Horticultural Society School, Wisley, plus more than three decades working in London starting with the 'reshaping' of the worn-torn capital. Bob's job for the spinsters saw him tasked with hand-digging half an acre of vegetable patch and maintaining another half-acre of lawns and shrubberies. A year later he was taken on as a garden boy at a large estate employing 16 gardeners and, after a year or so, he was invited to live in the bothy (formerly the stables) of what he describes as "a splendid house" set in 86 acres in Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire. Records may be lost, but you cannot erase memories " " Bob Corbin as IOG president (1990) and with his IOG Lifetime Achievement Award, 2004

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