The Hodge – Sadly Missed

The Hodge, Richard Lutwyche

Richard Harry Latham Lutwyche, September 1949 – June 2021
A Eulogy by Graham Bruce Fletcher

Richard Lutwyche is probably best known to Ciren Scene readers as ‘The Hodge’ – author of the ‘Country Matters’ column since July 2009.  Sadly, he died this June.  We shall miss him.

Richard was born and brought up in Surrey and attended Strodes Boys’ Grammar School in Egham.  Being from a family several generations of which served in the armed forces, he joined the Royal Green Jackets in Winchester.  After his military service he began his commercial career, moving to Malmesbury to join Linolite as their Export Manager in 1975. Nevertheless, he kept up his lifetime commitment to agriculture by joining Surrey County Agricultural Society that year, becoming a council member and trustee over the forty years he remained a member.

Aged 28, Richard met Valerie, his wife, and developed Marketability – a marketing consultancy devoted to the fields of farming and natural history. He ran the company from 1986 until 2021.

In 1990 Richard organised the very first meeting of the Gloucestershire Old Spot Pig Breeders’ Club and made a huge impact on the fortunes of the breed, leading the campaign for over ten years to secure EU protection for the breed among many other achievements. Richard devoted much of his life to promoting our native pig breeds, both commercially as a Director of the Traditional Breeds Meat Marketing Company, from 2001 until 2018, and through his writing.

Richard developed his writing skills through his career in marketing. He had articles published in trade journals and magazines including Country Life, The Field and Country Living, NFU Countryside and Smallholder. He edited The Ark magazine for the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, of which he was Marketing Director, from 1996 to 2002

He had five non-fiction books published: – Rare Breed Pig Keeping (2003); Shetland Breeds (co-author, 2003); Pig Keeping (2010); Higgledy Piggledy (2010) and The Pig: A Natural History (2019).

Until recently Richard was a member of the Somewhere Else Writers’ Group in Cirencester and had begun to write short stories and a novel, as well as presenting programmes on Corinium Radio.  He was no stranger to media having spoken on TV and radio about many Rare Breeds issues.  Those who saw him judging at agricultural shows might have thought him every inch as traditional as his Bowler hat, immaculate suit and tightly rolled umbrella seemed to represent.  Richard would surprise many people with his encyclopaedic knowledge of pop music back to the late 1950s, and his sideline as a DJ!

From 2006 Richard was a council member of the Three Counties Agricultural Society. He was chief steward of pigs, and organiser of the Showground’s Rare Breeds section

In 2010, he won the prestigious Derek Cooper Lifetime Achievement Award at the eleventh annual BBC Food & Farming Awards, having been nominated for his tireless efforts on the ‘Conservation through Consumption’ campaign to safeguard the future of Britain’s native breeds, many of which were on the brink of extinction.

Most recently, in 2012, Richard began a business in underfloor heating and other electrical products but continued to give his commitment to country matters.

Regardless of how they came to meet him, people always speak of his quiet generosity.  Although he would make no secret of his opinions when asked, he was always tolerant of others’ views, and kept his own counsel.  It was always a pleasure to spend time with him, and yet he was never inclined to talk about himself or allow the conversation to veer away from positivity and optimism.

His gentlemanly charm will be missed, as will his energy in support of Rare Breeds.  He counted Princess Anne, Prince Charles and Joe Henson among his friends, and he was glad to see the legacy passed on to Adam Henson.

Richard can be heard presenting a programme – The Literary Pig – for Corinium Radio if you follow this link:

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