Reaseheath College building dedicated to visionary governor

Reaseheath College’s newest halls of residence have been officially dedicated to the man who helped to make the college a leader in vocational training.

Platt Hall has been named in memory of John Platt OBE, the former chair of the Nantwich college’s Board of Governors, who died two years ago at the age of 82. John was Chair of governors for 14 years and a governor for 20 years, during which time he spearheaded over £50m of capital investment on campus

Platt Hall, the latest new build to be completed, opened to students in September. The £6 million building, which has 150 en suite bedrooms including special provision for students with disabilities, bring the total of student rooms on campus to 685.

Construction of the next project, an £8.5 million national centre for horticulture and environmental management, starts shortly.

Describing John as a visionary and inspirational leader, Chair of Governors Emily Thrane said: “John was a true gentleman and a lovely person. He left an enormous legacy at Reaseheath and his spirit will remain in these wonderful facilities. John planted seeds and ensured his vision would endure by giving us self belief and perseverance. He also inspired great loyalty from everyone who worked with him.”

A plaque was unveiled by John’s daughter, Joanna Lomas, and an oak tree germinated by Reaseheath’s horticulturists was dedicated by his son Jeremy Platt.  The building was blessed by the Rev Peter Mascarenhas.

Joanna, of Tarvin, said: “Platt Hall is very impressive. Dad would have been so proud.”

In addition to his support of Reaseheath, John ran a dairy farm at Lostock Gralam and was a leading light in Cheshire’s agricultural community. He was Chairman of Cheshire Agriculture Society for almost 30 years and played a leading role in running the Cheshire Show.

His legacy lives on in the John Platt Travel Scholarship, which enables young people in Cheshire’s agricultural and land based industries to widen their experience through travel.

Cheshire County Show 2014

Reaseheath College will be celebrating the launch of Reaseheath Alumni Association at this year’s Cheshire County Show – 17th & 18th June 2014.

Reaseheath Alumni Association for former students and staff has been created to re-connect former students with the College and fellow classmates. Cheshire County Show  is the first time Reaseheath Alumni Association will be getting out ‘on the road’ promoting Reaseheath Alumni Association and we would love you to join us!

Come and see our Alumni Officer Katie Burt at Reaseheath stand R1 and register for FREE alumni membership. Look out for Reaseheath Alumni Association in the Cheshire County Show Programme (we’re on the left-hand page just before the main showground map) – there’s a preview below!

Contact Katie on 01270 613219 or .

Reaseheath alumni advert

Mr and Mrs Evans – What a Reaseheath Romance!

Alumni Lorraine and J Graham nuttingknittingnanna Engagement May 1980 for newsletter

Reaseheath alumnus Lorraine Evans contacted Reaseheath Alumni Association after a recent visit to our annual Live Lambing event. We were delighted to hear some fantastic news from Lorraine along with a selection of recollections from her time at the Cheshire College of Agriculture.

Lorraine Newton on her MA graduation day with husband Graham Newton,  14th March 2014.

Lorraine Evans on her MA graduation day with husband Graham Evans, 14th March 2014.

Former Reaseheath student Lorraine Evans (nee Boydell) recently celebrated her 33rd wedding anniversary to husband and fellow former student Graham Evans. Lorraine and Graham met whilst both studying at the College 1979-1980. Whist Lorraine studied for her OND in Food Technology partner Graham trained in Dairy Herd Management. Living on campus the couple’s romance blossomed and as a result were engaged to marry on the 15th May 1980. The engagement was an extra special surprise for Lorraine, as this also marked her 19th birthday!

To this day, Lorraine and Graham remain as happy as the day they met as students at Reaseheath. On the 14th March 2014 the couple celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary. The very same day saw Lorraine graduate with an MA in Education from University of Chester.

Lorraine commented: “I am very proud to have completed my Masters as it was a particularly challenging venture. Graham has wholeheartedly supported me throughout the process and, without him by my side, I would not have been able achieve this.  The fact that our wedding anniversary fell on the same day as my graduation made it an extra special celebration for both of us”.

Since leaving the College the couple have gone on to pave successful careers. Lorraine currently works in education with the Virtual School in Cheshire West and Chester and Graham is a bus driver based in Chester.


If you have a story you would like to share on our website, please contact Reaseheath’s Alumni Officer Katie  Burt.


Revisiting Reaseheath: 1946

Eric & Gervase0002 cropped

A huge thank you to Simon Thomas for sending Reaseheath Alumni Association a picture of the 1946/47 Cheshire School of Agriculture year group; featuring his father Eric Thomas (dark blazer on the right, back row) and his best friend Gervase Brown (directly below the balcony pillar).

The picture was presented to Simon by Gervase’s daughter Frances and son David.

Please contact Katie Burt, Reaseheath’s Alumni Officer if you can identify more faces in this picture.

Star Alumnus: Lois Dalton

IMG_178644106635898The Reaseheath Alumni Association are keen to keep in touch with former students and support them on their career journeys. It’s inspiring to hear about the wide ranging career paths our students have gone on to undertake.

Reaseheath alumnus Lois Dalton and now proud owner of Vanity Furr Dog Grooming contacted us to let us know how she has been getting on since leaving Reaseheath.

Here’s what she had to say…

“I started attending Reaseheath College in 2010 when I was sixteen. I already had a work placement at a local kennels and grooming salon but wanted to further my training and gain a qualification, so where better to go than Reaseheath!

“I was part of a day release course, this meant I trained on campus on certain days and spent the rest of the week out in industry. This structure of training  ensured I gained all the hands on work experience whilst also working towards a qualification at the same time.  At the end of the course I gained a Level 2 Diploma in Animal Care and a basic first aid qualification.  Both of which are vital when doing a job like mine.

“Now I’m twenty, I’ve gained lots more experience with the help of training scholarship from Aesculap and as a result of entering and winning a number of dog grooming competition awards. With this all under my belt, in 2013 I achieved my dream and opened up my own dog grooming business and couldn’t be happier. Working with animals is a perfect career for me and I feel so lucky to be involved in such a fantastic industry. I would like to thank all the tutors and staff at Reaseheath College for being a part of my journey and for all their help and support.

“I hope my story (which has been shortened dramatically for this little article!) Can show other Reaseheath College students that by working hard, getting experience and working alongside truly supportive tutors at, in my opinion one of the best colleges, you can achieve your goals!”


Lois Dalton
Owner, Vanity Furr Dog Grooming

If you’d like to know more about Vanity Furr Dog Grooming or would like to have a look at some of Lois’s work, please visit the Vanity Furr Dog Grooming website.

February 2014


Careers in focus: Andrew Moule, FdSc Dairy Technology (Eden), 2013

Andrew Moule Graduate QandA

Dairy technology alumnus Andrew Moule took time out of his busy schedule as Production Manager for Muller Wiseman Dairies (Droitwich) to answer a few questions about his time at Reaseheath College and offers a little insight into his career related successes.

What led you to study at Reaseheath?

I left school at 16 and took a part time job while I looked for full time work. My Dad who was working at Wiseman’s as a Driver told me about vacancies in the logistics chill loading vehicles. I was successful in getting the job and worked for 4 ½ years in the logistics chill doing various roles before in Oct 2010 I applied for Project Eden.

Coupled with the companies positive attitude and support towards the course I was able to gain experience in most areas of the production side of the business, develop my skills, knowledge and connections.

What attracted you to your current job role?

I have been working at Muller Wiseman Dairies for nearly eight years and had experience in nearly all areas of the  company’s production & logistics departments, so to manage the key production area of the business seems to be the most logical step to boost my experience, knowledge and provide me the key ingredients to step forward and progress within the business.

What does your typical day involve?

There are four roles which I undertake as Production Manager, these are Early Shift Duty Manager / Back Shift Duty Manager / Early Support Manager or Days. As duty manager, I would oversee the sites milk process & production which is 5 milk pasteurisers, 3 cream pasteurisers, six standard milk filling lines, two ESL (extended shelf life) milk filling lines & 3 cream fillers. As support, I would assist the Duty Manager on the early shift & on days I would concentrate on my department (Polybottle Filling) and address staffing issues for my 49 staff who report to me, health & safety & quality issues, performance improvements & general admin.

What gives you the most job satisfaction?

I would say, knowing that because of mine & my teams hard work everyone can have & their enjoy their milk every day with their tea, coffee & cereal.

Can you tell us a little more about your environment in terms of work-life balance…?

Due to the nature of the business the shifts range from (4:30am to 2:30pm) or (2:30pm to finish) (Monday – Saturday) if I am duty manager on early or back shift. If I’m working days it’s Monday – Friday 7am – 4pm.

My Girlfriend works away in the week so most weekends I spend with her. This means working the shifts in the week isn’t an issue for me.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of following your path?

Gaining experience in a production environment would be a key benefit to anyone looking to go into production management. Working or applying to a company which offers work based learning schemes such as Project Eden is a very good way to gain academic skills as well as practical “hands-on” experience which is what I believe employers look for.

Salaries are negotiated on experience and length of service and can vary quite a lot, gaining a broad range of skills will endeavour to stand you in best stead for a prosperous career in the dairy industry. With the range of opportunities across the industry ever expanding, I’d say dairy is a very secure & fulfilling career, exciting prospects particularly for new graduates!


Career chat inspires herpetological students

Former animal management students Luke Harding and Simon Maddock described their adventures with some of the world’s rarest reptiles and amphibians during a talk to Reaseheath’s Herpetological and Entomological Society (RHES) yesterday.

Both Luke, 25, and Simon, 24, have gone on to become specialist herpetologists since completing their Level 3 Diploma in Animal Management in 2007. They have remained close friends since their schooldays and regularly share and discuss their research findings.

Luke has just returned from the Caribbean where he has been involved in a project to reinstate an endangered species of frog to the islands of Montserrat and Dominica. Called the ‘Mountain Chicken’, the frog used to be Dominica’s national dish and gets its name because it tastes like chicken.

The frog population on both islands has been drastically hit by disease, illegal hunting and habitat loss. Scientists are desperately trying to save the species through a captive breeding programme and by raising its profile among the local population. Alongside working closely with London Zoo, which has a captive breeding facility, one of Luke’s key tasks was to help run Dominica’s first highly successful Mountain Chicken Day last September.

As well as describing his Caribbean adventures, Luke also talked about his part in a research project  on Komodo dragons in Indonesia…and how he got to follow his dream.

On leaving Reaseheath, Luke began a degree in zoo biology at Nottingham Trent University but left after he was offered an internship at Chester Zoo. He completed his degree later via the Open University. Following his internship he worked as a herpetologist for Marwell Wildlife in Hampshire and then at Colchester Zoo, where he became Deputy Head of the herpetological department. He then transferred full time onto the mountain chicken project.

An equally well travelled Simon outlined his involvement in active research projects in India, Ecuador Papua New Guinea and the Seychelles. He is currently based at the Natural History Museum in London, where he is researching for a joint PhD on the evolution and conservation of amphibians and snakes in the Seychelles in collaboration with the University College London.

Simon says that his Reaseheath experience prepared him well for his academic career. He gained a degree and Masters degree in zoology at Bangor University before moving on to study for his doctorate.

Both former students took part in a lively Q and A session after their talk. Luke said: “It’s great to be back here. Reaseheath has always been a fantastic institution with great staff but it’s been good to catch up with all the new, top end facilities. Hopefully we’ve shown the current students what they can achieve through hard work, determination and drive.

Advised Simon: “It’s really important that you attend events, gain contacts and keep networking. There are loads of opportunities out there but they won’t just be handed to you.”

Luke Harding and Simon Maddock with Josh Flood and Nathan Brookes-Bennett, chairs RHES

Luke Harding and Simon Maddock with Josh Flood and Nathan Brookes-Bennett, chairs RHES