In loving memory of Neil Trood who sadly passed away on January 26, 2021. Neil was a loving husband to the late Jennifer, for almost 60 years. He was the loving father of Rachel, Jeremy and Timothy, and a loving Grandfather and Great Grandfather who will be sadly missed by us all.
Born and brought up in St Augustine Street Taunton, Neil was the only son of Bert and Winifred Trood, he also had a sister, Sandra. Neil went to Priory School and then to Huish’s Grammar School before joining the Somerset County Gazette where he was to work, except for a short break in the 1980s, for his entire career. Neil had a number of roles within this time.
National Service in the RAF, especially his time in Singapore and Malaya at the time of the emergency, was also to have a formative influence on him.
As a young man, he enjoyed amateur dramatics and took part in many productions by the Taunton Thespian Society, The Taunton Operatic Society, the Liberty Players and Wellington Civic Players.
His faith played an important part in his life and he was to be Churchwarden at St George’s Ruishton, St Peter’s Staple Fitzpaine and Holy Trinity Taunton over a period of fifty years. During his time at Ruishton, he directed and stage managed a production of The Passion Play, enlisting members of the community as actors. Neil together with Jenny enjoyed trips to Rome, Spain and the Holy Land. They visited the shrine of our lady of Walsingham several times.
In 1978 he took up beekeeping. Enthusiastic as ever he joined Taunton Beekeepers and, over the years, was to serve as Chairman, President, Representative of the division on the committee of Taunton Flower Show, and was County Honey Show Secretary for many years. Neil also represented Taunton on the council of Somerset Beekeepers' Association and the South West Beekeepers' Forum. Latterly he was a Vice President of the Association and in 2000 won the West Country Honey Farms Award for his outstanding contribution to beekeeping in Somerset. Neil and Jenny enjoyed trips to Germany and Ireland with Devon Beekeepers' Association.
Neil and Tim's bees produced sufficient honey to require an outlet. Namely the WI shop in Bath Place. Needless to say that Neil got involved with the Country Market, and was chairman for a time, he dutifully worked in the shop every week until the end of December 2019. While there he oversaw the refurbishment of the premises. Neil enjoyed going into Taunton each week, on the bus from Langport. Neil also enjoyed going to Farmers Markets around the county.
Neil was initiated into Freemasonry in Richard Huish Lodge No 8518 on 25th November 2000. He served all the progressive offices and in due course became Master of the Lodge on 22nd September 2007. Rather than taking a back seat Neil continued to serve the Lodge and was appointed Master again in 2013. In recognition of his work, he received Provincial honours in 2013, when he was appointed a Past Provincial Junior Grand Deacon. He would have received promotion in the Provincial honours of April 2021.
Masonry has many degrees and Orders. As well as being a member of the Craft degree in Richard Huish Lodge, Neil was an excellent Companion on the Royal Arch degree. He was exalted on 28th February 2008 into The Chapter of St George, No 3158. Again, he served off offices and became the First Principal in May 2012 and again in May 2017. He received Provincial honours in this degree also, appointed as Past Provincial Grand Sojourner in 2015 and then promoted in 2019.
Neil had also joined Somerset First Principals' Chapter No 3746, in June 2012, just after his appointment as First Principal in The Chapter of St George.
Dad got involved wholeheartedly in many things over his lifetime. He did this with a passion to be, and to do, the very best he could in everything, a perfectionist. He spent many hours, ensuring that everything would be perfect on the day. No one thing took over, he always had time for everything he needed to do, sometimes late into the night. We all have our own special memories of him as a father and grandfather. We have been grateful for all the condolences and special memories that his many friends have shared with us at this time.
In memory of Neil, we would be grateful for donations towards the bee research project into European Foulbrood (EFB) initiated by Somerset Beekeeping Association.
EFB is a bacterial disease that kills the honey bee larvae. A particular strain of this disease is only found in Somerset and North Dorset where beekeepers are finding many cases year upon year with the recommended precautions showing no evidence of reducing the number of cases.
Neil kept honey bees since 1978 and has been a mainstay in the running of Somerset Beekeepers Association - having been a past president - and organising the County Honey Show for very many years.
He always encouraged beginners and was very keen to promote the importance of honey bees as pollinators. The survival of bees was very close to his heart and it would have been important to him that his memory is playing an important role in the future of the honey bee, particularly in the county where he was born and bred.
Donations in the form of a cheque will be gratefully received made payable to Crescent Funeral Services.
Written by Neil's family. Portrait painted by Neil's grandson Jacob
The Chairman of Somerset Beekeepers’ Association, Stewart Gould, is urging beekeepers to keep local honey bees and reject a campaign to overturn the recent ban on bee imports.“Locally bred bees are perfectly adapted for the conditions; imported bees carry the risk of pests and diseases and are genetically better suited to the country of origin,” he said.
His comments follow media coverage of the new Brexit rules which have stopped the importation of honey bee colonies directly into the UK from the EU although queen bees are still allowed.
HMRC is aware that there may be attempts to get around the import rules by using Northern Ireland as a back door but anti-avoidance measures are in place.
“The importation ban is important and avoids the risk of bringing new problems to the UK’s bees. For example, bees in many areas of the country suffer from Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus which is associated with the importation of bees. And we are worried that the small hive beetle, which is in southern Italy, could come into the country and decimate our bees.”
Somerset Beekeepers’ Association runs courses to help members to rear their own queen bees from successful colonies which ensures they are adapted to the conditions in their own area.
Patrick Murfet from a beekeeping equipment company in Kent has started a petition calling on the government to reverse the new rules. That petition can be found here Petition to overturn the ban
In the interest of even handedness, you should be aware that there is a petition to uphold the ban, which can be found here
Petition to uphold the banning of bee imports
The number of beekeepers and bee colonies continues to rise in the UK; membership of the British Beekeepers’ Association stands at more than 28,000 while Somerset’s is topping a record 1,200.
Stewart Gould, Chairman