A Day at Denman College

Upcoming day trip!  Friday 3rd May 2019 – 11am start at Denman, (lifts can be arranged)

Arrival refreshments, lunch, cream tea and tour of Denman included. A fantastic tour of what goes on behind Manor Walls

£30.00 – last chance to sign up, please reply by email, payment to be received by Friday 12th April 2019.  Previous trip report below…

Two of our ladies  were fortunate enough to win tickets in a ballot to attend “A Day at Denman with the PDSA” – the vet charity that has been looking after sick and injured pets of people in need for nearly 100 years.  They very kindly shared the following report of their experience.


“Having made an early start leaving Molesey at 8.15 on the dot, we arrived at Denman two hours later and were welcomed in the main house by friendly staff offering much needed coffee and croissants. After 30 minutes of journey recovery time, we were ushered across the grand lawns to the lecture theatre for the day’s proceedings to commence.

During the morning session we heard from two PDSA representatives, including the Director General, Jan McCloughlin, about the work of and the challenges faced by the PDSA. They have treated over 20 million pets since they were set up in 1917 by animal lover and philanthropist, Maria Dickin. Maria was also responsible for instituting the PDSA Dickin Medal, the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross, which aims to raise the status of animals by recognising acts of bravery and devotion to duty in the theatre of conflict. We were shown film clips of todays’ pet owners and heard stories about how our pets can change our lives for the better.

We then had a talk from TV vet Steve Leonard (Trust me, I’m a Vet) who shared stories from lions and tigers to orangutans and wilderbeast (did you know the average height of a wilderbeast is only 4’6”? – no, we didn’t either) along with the everyday cats, dogs and other small furries he sees in the family practice based in Crewe.

Following a leisurely buffet lunch back in the main house and a walk around the magnificent grounds (we didn’t quite manage all 17 acres), we returned to the lecture theatre and met Pam St Clement (better known to many as Pat Butcher in Eastenders – or ‘Enders as it is known in the business!). She shared anecdotes from her early beginnings being brought up on a farm on Dartmoor (and how she sneaked one of the farmyard dogs into her bed in order to keep warm during the freezing winter nights) through to her ever-popular character in Eastenders (why did she never throttle Janine, we wondered) and, of course, her love and passion for animals. The day ended with yet more refreshments before battling the M25 rush hour traffic on the return journey.

All in all it was a very informative day and we can highly recommend a visit to Denman College if you get the opportunity. We recognise that the courses are not inexpensive, but you do get three meals a day, private en suite accommodation, glorious surroundings and the course itself.  In addition to this, they do run the occasional free day like the one described above. If you would like to find out more about what is on offer, have a look at their website http://denmancollege.org.uk/

Photographs and text courtesy of Gill Barnes and Liz Manterfield / 11th May 2017

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