John Britton celebrates 50 years of teaching at Sparsholt

Animal Management Lecturer, John Britton is celebrating his golden anniversary at Sparsholt College (@Sparsholt_Coll) after teaching students on campus for an awe-inspiring 50 years.  

John has shared his knowledge at all levels of qualification in Animal Management at the college and now works with degree students at University Centre Sparsholt.  

Principal Julie Milburn said:

 “John is an extremely valued and important part of the College team and the support he has given students through his work in the Animal Management department and the wider college over the years is immeasurable.”  

 John joined Sparsholt College in 1971, taking up his appointment as Residential Warden and Crops Lecturer at the age of 24. John’s teaching role changed over the years including working with the farm secretarial students on farm business management, a sheep production course and opportunities for study tours both in this country and abroad.  John has also caught the attention of the press on several occasions with his sheep work and has been featured shearing at local shows. 

Approaching 50 John decided to take early retirement and continue teaching part time. When a vacancy arose for a Staff Governor, John volunteered, then at 60 he set himself the target of completing a further degree and running the London Marathon. 

In 2012 John graduated from the Open University with an MA in Education. Since London in 2007 John has completed seven more marathons and aims to complete London 2022 at 75. The day after completing the London Marathon in 2017 John was to be found shearing sheep in the college’s sheep barn!  

Reaching state pensionable age John has continued his long association with the College, working on the farm and at the Animal Management Centre with students on practical skills. His many years teaching at Sparsholt has seen him meet three generations of some families.  

John said on the day of his anniversary:

“On the dawn of my one hundred and fifty-first term at Sparsholt College, having achieved my fifty-year target, I would like to say thank you to all the colleagues and students, a number of whom are no longer with us, for all the inspiration, encouragement, support and just putting up with me over the last fifty years.”  

To celebrate the occasion, a small socially distanced tribute was planned on campus where John greeted his colleagues live over Microsoft Teams and was presented with his achievement award and a beautifully crafted cake in his honour. With no plans for retirement John and his wife, Elizabeth continue to live happily near Alton and look forward to celebrating John’s Golden Anniversary with a wider tribute later in the summer when restrictions allow

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