About Us All

Ring Managers

Steve Ackrill
I came from a farming family and have lived in Great Shefford for the past 25 years with my three children. I formed a Ltd Management Company and through this manage the Machinery Ring and ongoing amenity maintenance contracts (outside the Ring).  I am Chairman of the Board for Newbury Agricultural & District Society and am still involved with Young Farmers, sitting on the Berkshire Executive committee. My background has been working in the agricultural industry for the past 30 years and I have experience in dairy, arable, game farming, amenity work and agricultural HGV low loader work and enjoy shooting and land rovers.

Camilla WestAssistant Manager
Camilla graduated from the Royal Agricultural College with a degree in Property Agency and Marketing and went straight into Estate Agency. She has worked for a few agents over the last 10 years, the latest being Humberts, which she left in 2013, to have a baby. She is married to Andrew West, who is an agricultural farm contractor and have two sons. She joined TKMR in 2015 to help with the administration on a part time basis. Outside the Ring she enjoys cookery, sport and travelling and is involved with Shefford Young Farmers sitting on the Advisory Committee & Berkshire RABI.

Ring Directors

Ben Butler (Chairman)
Ben farms with his father at Avebury, near Marlborough on a 1000-acre mixed unit, comprising of arable & finishing 100 Aberdeen Angus and Hereford cattle and sheep. In addition, 1000 acres are contract farmed and rented under four different agreements. Before returning to the farm, Ben worked as an Agricultural Business Consultant for Savills in Salisbury.

Geoff Elliott 
Geoff has been a Machinery Ring member for some twenty-five years & a Director since 2004. After a career change in his twenties, Geoff worked his way through tractor driving, farm & estate management & then farming in partnership, before starting his own company in 1999. For the next twenty years, he operated a contract farming business, cropping up to 4000 acres for nine landowners across North Hampshire & into Berkshire, on a mixture of Farm Business Tenancies, contract arrangements & stubble to stubble agreements. Geoff ‘retired’ in 2019, selling all his equipment. He now has a part time job ‘just’ looking after a couple of thousand acres for a non-resident landowner & mentoring a recently recruited farm manager. He was the founding Chairman & remains a Director of Hampshire Training Providers. He & Sheila have two daughters, and currently three grandchildren.

Stephen Doble
Stephen is a fourth generation tenant farmer and farms 1,300 acres of rented, contracted and owned land near Henley. A beef finishing enterprise is run alongside the main arable business. Before returning home to join the family partnership in 2009, he worked as a farm manager for the Co-op Farms in Yorkshire. Stephen joined the Board of Directors in 2014, continuing a long family involvement with TKMR and he is keen to create further opportunities for our members.

Derek Cheriton
Derek comes from three generations of farmers who farmed in Fawley, Nr Henley-on-Thames for over one hundred years. On leaving school at fifteen years of age, Derek was employed by the owners of Fawley Estate as a trainee caring for a herd of pedigree Aberdeen Angus cattle. Derek soon learned that this was not the route for him & moved onto operating farm machinery. By the time he left, some twenty years later, he was farm manager. In 1995 Derek started his own business DRC Contracting & began crop spraying and spreading across Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Hampshire. Derek has been a ring member for the past twenty two years.

Kevin Smith

Kevin lives in Oxfordshire with his partner Louise. He attended Berkshire College of Agriculture where he studied agriculture. Over 15 years ago Kevin established Pasture Care which he owns and manages. Pasture Care was originally established to look after the needs of the small equestrian establishment and despite expansion into other areas, this still forms a valuable part of the business. The business has progressed naturally into agriculture, which has now become the mainstay of the business. Whole farm contracting is something he is very passionate about, but he also offers general contracting services including drilling, tree shearing, hedge cutting and hay making, to make but a few. Outside work Kevin enjoys shooting.

Brian White

Brian has been a member of TKMR since the early days, attending the first ever meeting at Basingstoke. His farming career started at 16 when he left school and went to work for Richard Porter at South Wanborough for 18mths. Then he went to work for Elliott Drainage for 12mths. After this he worked on the family farm and started doing some contracting as well. This grew to being a reasonable size business doing most operations. We stopped foraging in 1995.

Farming in house is the main business now rather than contracting. He still runs a muck spreader hire business with 3 K Two rear delivery spreaders. The farming business is spread over three farms and one rented piece of land they recently took on. They are all arable cropping. The old meadows of permanent pasture are all made into hay for the equine trade. Arable acreage is around 400 acres.

We have used the Ring since 1996 for the majority of our arable operations and have always been very happy with the service over the years. The Ring has allowed the flexibility of using different types of equipment on challenging ground and adverse weather conditions. We currently use the Ring for ordering fuel which allows us to receive a competitive price and prompt delivery. The office number is always available and they are very helpful.

Stephen Goddard
Albedale Farms Ltd

I have been a Member of the Ring for 16 years and our partnership works really well – as a demander initially I used the Ring for hiring various machinery mainly Plant Hire and their bespoke system tells them exactly where to look for the exact machine required. I purchase all my fuel via Steve and Sandi and it’s always supplied competitively, having access to several suppliers allows extra delivery options when I require fuel urgently. The phones/emails are monitored or answered 7 days a week and when required weekend assistance is always given. I use the Ring as source of income and very often receive enquiries for harvest work, spraying, grass clearance, baling and wrapping, tree clearance, ploughing and many other jobs I never know quite what I will be asked when they call! If I get a client through the Ring I always ensure I support it to ensure its continuation and success and therefore my invoicing continues to go through them, even if the Client contacts me direct on future occasions, as I never know when I have a breakdown or the weather lets me down I can always rely on Steve and Sandi to help find backup.

Steve Thompson
Director / D & S Thompson Contracting Ltd

Whitlow Agricultural Contractors has been a member of The Thames and Kennet Machinery Ring for 20 years now. We have been more of a supplier to the Ring than a demander. Jobs can be very varied at times. We spent four months working at Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport when it was being built. Moving trailers and building equipment around the site. We run a Muck Spreader Hire business and the Ring do hire our spreaders for demanders. The Fuel ordering service offered by the Ring is excellent. One phone call to the office and the job is done. The Machinery holds a Farming Conference once a year with complimentary place for each Member including a supper. This is very well organised and they have good knowledgeable speakers on things that are relevant and topical with regards to farming practices.

Brian White
Whitlow Agricultural Contractors

Hampshire Training Providers has been an Associate Member of Thames and Kennet Machinery Ring for 15 years. We work in co-operation with each other to offer all TKMR Members our training courses at our Members rates without the need for sign up to our particular group. The Machinery Ring helps advertise our courses free of charge and Ring Members can book any course by simply calling into the Ring office Steve, Sandi and Camilla then liaise with us. Benefiting our training group through access to a large coverage of potential course candidates, invoicing is carried out through the ring and the funds arrive directly into our account, TKMR benefit through having another service to offer its members.

Hampshire Training Providers

The Thames and Kennet Machinery Ring opens us up to a huge potential market place which would otherwise be unattainable to us as a supplier. As a demander the TKMR have at the end of the phone an infinite source of machinery, materials and specialist subcontractors to fill any gap on large projects or just fire fighting for those unseen events.

Joe Hayes N.D.A.H.
Managing Director / J H Landscapes Ltd

I have been a Member of the Ring since it first started 25 years ago, with a number of businesses. We currently use the Ring from as a Demander for fuel and occasional plant hire. Using the Machinery Ring for the Fuel orders saves me time ringing around for quotes every time, as well as having accounts with a number of suppliers they receive daily group buying prices for Kerosene, Gas Oil, Derv to the office, one simple email stating how much I require and preferred delivery days is all it takes, and Steve and Sandi are on hand to oversee the order from start to finish and always help iron out any delivery issues. From a Supplier prospective I have a number of customers who are also Ring Members, they contact me to arrange their requirements, we do the work and simply invoice through the ring. We are also on hand to quote for occasional TKMR customer requirements, anything from removing Tyres, or Hazardous Waste such as Waste Oil or Pesticide Disposal, even free advice for a Member’s particular requirement. All invoicing is simply done by email and payments are collected and paid to me via by Direct Debit.

Ian Kitson
Kitson Recycling Ltd

When I started DRC contracting 21 years ago it was a bit daunting as I had always been employed from the age of fifteen one of the first people I talked to was Michael who quickly convinced me to join The Thames and Kennet Machinery Ring, at first it was just the odd job but as the years went by I found more and more work even some whole farm work but I still enjoy the odd phone call from the ring asking can you just?. We nearly always find a way to do some of the oddball jobs like ten miles of pipeline bund spraying or together with Johnny Cantlay a thousand miles of pavement spraying! That one request made us scratch our heads. However we coped, I wouldn’t want to work without the supportive staff at the Ring behind me now as it is an important part of my spraying business now.

Derek Cheriton
DRC Contracting