Kent County Agricultural Society presents long service award to Biddenden Vineyards’ ex-employee

Alexandra Barnshaw, known as Sandra, was presented a prestigious long service award from Kent County Agricultural Society (KCAS) in recognition of her 47 years’ continuous work at Biddenden Vineyards by KCAS chairman, Kevin Attwood, on Friday 10 July at this year’s Kent County Show.

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Sandra started picking and packing at Biddenden back in 1967 when it was still an apple orchard and has seen it develop over the years into the 23 acre vineyard it is today. Sandra was a key part of the team who planted the very first vines in 1969 and was heavily involved in the first ever harvest in 1972. Sandra went on to work in the vineyard and winery participating in all integral aspects including pruning, tying down, leaf striping and picking right through to the bottling and labelling, until her retirement in May 2014.

Sandra was nominated for the award, which is open to employees of farmers and land owners who have completed a minimum of 25 years’ uninterrupted service on the same estate, by Sally Barnes, director at Biddenden Vineyards, in acknowledgement of all her hard work and continuous support.

Sally Barnes said: “We are thrilled that Sandra has been recognised for all her efforts over the years. This long service achievement is certainly well deserved and over the 47 years Sandra saw a huge diversification at Biddenden. Her dedication to the vineyard has been very much appreciated by the whole Barnes family and we would all like to wish her all the best for the future.”