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Our founder's 100th birthday

Our founder's 100th birthday

Published: 27 November 2017

It was the centenary of the founder of The Sharpham Trust in October this year.

Maurice Ash died in 2003, but he would have been 100 on October 31st, and his family gathered to mark the date.

Maurice and his wife Ruth moved to Sharpham House in 1962, bringing up their three daughters here. It was the combination of the couple's interest in sustainable land use, Eastern philosophies and meditation that formed the basis of the foundation of The Sharpham Trust in 1982. Maurice and Ruth also founded The Sharpham Partnership, which runs the award-winning Sharpham Wine & Cheese.

Maurice believed in a form of action-learning, saying:

Out of practising, experiencing and acting, theories may grow

And:

[Sharpham] has a role to play in the re-inspiration of the countryside

Maurice's three daughters Kate Caddy, Marian Ash and Claire Ash Wheeler gathered to celebrate their father's centenary.  Together with their partners and cousin Mark Sharman and Debbie Mumford, of Sharpham Partnership and four of Maurice's six grandchildren, they celebrated with a dinner of his best-loved food.Centenary dinner for Maurice Ash - founder of The Sharpham Trust

After Ruth's death in 1986, Maurice  learnt to cook and his roast chicken and deep fried chips were famous. Hence the evening, catered by Nick Coiley, whom Maurice knew from the Carved Angel restaurant in Dartmouth, included roast chicken, chips and veg, followed by apple pie and a lot  of  Maurice's banana custard (another favorite of the family).

The wines also took pride of place with his favourite Sharpham Barrel Fermented and the last bottle of the limited edition of  sweet wine, Octovintus Nobilis, named to honour Maurice's 80th birthday, for which he picked the grapes!

Former Sharpham Trustee, Claire Ash Wheeler said: "It was a lovely evening of remembering Maurice through the food, wine and stories. Also, having his 5-year-old great-granddaughter there, Iyla Ash, was very special. We all thought Maurice would have loved the occasion."

Picture shows Marian Ash holding up a photo of her father, Maurice.