Ted Coryton is a busy man, he’s got his hands full, along with his family, running Pentillie Castle and Estate.
However, this year he’s got another important task to shoe-horn into his jam-packed schedule. Ted’s been elected to the prestigious role of President for the 2019 Royal Cornwall Show.
“I’ve been involved with agriculture for most of my life,” says Ted. “After leaving school I spent the next eighteen months working my way around Australia, Jackarooing on a sheep and cattle station, fruit picking and arable farming.”
After returning home he joined the Royal Hampshire Regiment of the Army and served in Malay and Borneo during confrontation before qualifying as an Army helicopter pilot where he flew in Germany, the Gulf and Cyprus.
On leaving the army in 1973 he continued to fly helicopters, although preferring to wear overalls rather than gold epaulets, a long career in crop spraying and flying on aerial work and oil exploration contracts around the world began.
“My wife and family think that I used more than the normally allocated nine lives having flown in some fifty countries and amassed over fifteen thousand hours in helicopters, many of them fairly old and beaten up working machines,” Ted adds.
Eventually, helicopters were replaced by tractors when Ted returned to farm at Pentillie in 1977. At the same time as running a mixed farm at Pentillie he also served on the NFU cereal committee and during the 1980s was often to be found in the skies above Devon and Cornwall crop spraying.
The Coryton family’s links with the Royal Cornwall Agricultural Association (RCAA), the organiser of the Royal Cornwall Show, stretches back more than two centuries.
At just the sixth show ever held, in 1798 at Bodmin, his forebearer John Coryton was show President.
Major Jeffrey Coryton, Ted’s cousin from whom he inherited the 1,500-acre estate and castle that nestles – fortunately – on the Cornish side of the banks of the River Tamar, took the Royal Cornwall’s top job at the 1975 show at Wadebridge.
Married to Sarah, who herself was High Sheriff of Cornwall in 2017, the couple have three grown-up children, a son and two daughters.
The family have transformed Pentillie Castle into a thriving business, centred on the house which underwent huge restoration works, and gardens that opened for business in 2009.
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