James Purdey & Sons celebrated its annual Purdey Awards for Game and Conservation in the Long Room at Audley House in Mayfair where the presentations were made by farmer and TV personality Adam Henson.
Richard Purdey this year retired from his duties organising the Purdey Awards. James Horne, CEO of Purdey, and the Duke of Wellington, Chairman of the Awards Judging Panel, presented Richard with a commemorative silver plate to acknowledge all that he has done for this special event since taking over the running of it in 1999.
Speaking about this year’s winners, Richard said: “What particularly singled out the winners of this year’s awards and impressed the judges most was their willingness, irrespective of size or resources, to reach out to their local communities to involve them in the work of their shoots, or to explain proactively via social and local media how their shoots’ habitat conservation work also creates long term benefits for all countryside lovers and users.”
The Gold Award was won by the Bywell Shoot, Northumberland, for their work in turning a reared pheasant shoot into a wild game shoot with a sustainable population of wild grey partridge and pheasant. On accepting the award, Alan Edwards, head keeper, said: “This award is combination of a lifetime’s work. Care, attention and love of the land working towards a multitude of different habitats and species …What we ’ve done can be achieved by an awful lot of people in this country, you just need to go out and look at what you’ve got, cherish and nurture it and you’d be surprised what can happen in a short space of time.”
Duchess of Devonshire, Adam Henson, Duke of Wellington
Brewery Farm, Suffolk, won the Silver Award for their extensive work on the farm’s biodiversity. The Bronze Award was given to Lindisfarne Island’s Wildfowling Club for its work in having a wholly sustainable operation on the land, which also supports a public nature reserve.
To illustrate the versatility of game, canapés made by Oliver Gladwin of the Gladwin Brothers restaurant group, such as wild mallard wellington and BBQ sweet and sour pheasant were served. Laurent-Perrier again supported the event by providing champagne for the toasts.
Motor enthusiasts descended on Hampton Court Palace in their thousands to admire what some people called “the most expensive car park in the world”. Enjoying some September sun, around 12,500 people flocked to the Concours of Elegance, now in its sixth year, to see around 1,000 cars around the spectacular gardens.
More than 60 of the world’s rarest cars were in the running for the honour of Best in Show which went to the Lancia Astura Aerodinamico Castagna. The quality of cars this year was such that even be invited was an achievement in itself. Among the star attractions was the first car ever to emerge from coachbuilders, Frua, the Fiat 1100 Frua Spider and the Bugatti Type 57C Atalante Rollback.
The Royal Automobile Club presented HRH Prince Michael of Kent with the Spirit of Motoring Award for all he has done for the world of classic cars and motorsport, including his role as patron of Concours of Elegance. Winner of the ‘Spirit of the Tour’ – contested by cars on the pre-Concours Tour of Wessex – was Peter Briggs and the Bentley 3-Litre Le Mans, the first ever Bentley to race at Le Mans in 1923.
Outside of the main Concours of Elegance cars, nearly 1000 other models were there, including some of the finest examples from the UK’s most prestigious car clubs. A panel of expert judges, including Prince Michael, chose a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Taj Mahal, originally owned by the Maharaja of Nabha, as winner of the RAC Club Trophy.
Nearly 80 historic Jaguars were on display on the Saturday, competing for the Jaguar Land Rover Classic Trophy. Led by Jaguar Land Rover Classic Director Tim Hannig, a panel of judges overwhelmingly decided the car they would most want to take home was a 1938 SS Jaguar 2.5-litre Drophead Coupe.
On the Sunday more than 60 Bentleys arrived in the gardens, ranging from the pre-war grand prix cars to some of Bentley’s very latest Continental models. A judging team of Bentley experts carefully assessed every model before awarding the Bentley Trophy to a Bentley Mk6 James Young, recently the subject of a full restoration.