The Dales Vet

The Dales Vet

One of the great facets of life’s journey as our own timeclock winds down is to contemplate the fascinating people one has met. I’m very blessed. I can’t compete with Albert Facey and his ‘A Fortunate Life’ but overall it’s been fabulous. I attended more Universities than Schools. I consider it a lucky advantage; others would say it has distorted my mind! I was a recipient of the social advantages put in place by Clement Attlee’s first Labour Government following WWII in the UK. While the rest of the world was astounded at Great Britain’s rejection of WWII hero Winston Churchill’s Conservatives we just had to get on with it. Essentially a universal free National Health Service and provision for both secondary and tertiary education were major and massive social reforms. I was a most fortunate beneficiary. My family could not have made these provisions. I met a fellow migrant ‘Ten Pound Pom’ Roger Morgan on an expedition in the Himalayas. He remarked we were the ‘luckiest generation ever’. I think he was right?

I have recently made contact with another professional colleague with whom I shared many happy reminiscences from our student days at University. I had to be reminded of most; photographs provided proof positive of myriad excursions beyond the bounds of civilized behaviour! It was fun! Neville Turner has had a stellar career as ‘The Dales Vet’. He was the natural successor to Alf White aka James Herriot of ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ fame. Well done Neville who is an avid photographer. He has also documented his life in print. I adduce the evidence here.

Neville was educated at Wolsingham Grammar School and graduated as a Veterinary Surgeon from Edinburgh University in 1968. He spent his early working life in Taunton, Somerset, but most of it was based in the Pennine Dales. Carrying a camera at all times, especially in Teesdale, resulted in a library of  images covering all aspects of veterinary life, dales heritage, wildlife, domestic animals, farming and landscape.

With 4000 of these devoted to the Red Grouse, his library was extensively used by Saatchi and Saatchi, and Abbott Mead Vickers in their advertising campaigns for “The Famous Grouse” Scotch Whisky. His work has been published in ‘The Field’, ‘The Shooting Times’, ‘The Times’, ‘The Daily Mail’, ‘The Dalesman’ & ‘The Countryman’. Neville has appeared on BBC TV’s popular “Countryfile” with Matt Baker, and Tyne Tees TV’s “Dales Diary” with Luke Casey. In April 2014 he featured in “More Creatures Great and Small” which was broadcast on BBC1 daily for three weeks. Neville’s illustrated lectures have been very popular for over 40 years.  Since 1996 he has been much in demand as a speaker on cruise ships and continues to work on major cruise liners today.

‘The Dales Vet’ is a collection of literary sketches illustrated by beautiful pictures from the author’s own huge library. The subjects cover life as a rural vet, but also include intimate views of farm animals, hill farmers, wildlife rehabilitation, dales nature, dales culture, and dales landscape in all its glory. This book will be attractive to all country lovers, those with an interest in animals and birds, botanists, farmers, photographers, and people with an interest in our rural heritage. It is a unique concept celebrating in pictures author Neville Turner’s passions for the countryside, natural history, dales heritage, music-making, and photography.