About Us All

About Us All

Ring Managers

Steve & Sandi Ackrill
We both come from farming families, Sandi (nee Crockford) from arable/beef and Steve from dairy/arable/game rearing. We have formed our own Ltd Management Company and through this manage the Machinery Ring, ongoing amenity maintenance contracts and some farm secretarial and HR contracts (outside the Ring). We met through Berkshire Young Farmers, and have lived in the village of Great Shefford, for the past 22 years. We have three children all of whom are involved in Young Farmers Organisation and we are both still involved too with the Young Farmers, serving on the Advisory committee of our local club, with Steve also sitting on the Berkshire Executive committee. Steve is a Parish Councillor in Great Shefford and Sandi ex parish clerk of several years. Sandi’s background was initially in the hotel/hospitality/ conference/wedding sector followed by 10 years in telecommunications industry, she was working part time for the Ring for two years before becoming Manager, Steve has been working in the agricultural industry for the past 30 years and has experience in dairy, arable, game farming, amenity work and agricultural HGV low loader work and enjoys 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 a son. She joined TKMR in 2015 to help with the administration on a part time basis. Outside the Ring she enjoys cookery, sport and travelling.

Michael Brown
Michael was born and bred in the Newbury, Reading area, and as many of us were, he was a junior and senior Young Farmers Club member. As a teenager, he enjoyed playing rugby, cricket and tennis. Michael was agriculture contracting for 26 years in the Newbury area. In June 1991 at its inception he was offered the part-time management of the Ring and as expected it soon developed into a full-time occupation. Michael retired from full-time work in December 2012 but continues working part time supporting management team at the Ring. He now enjoys the garden, walking the dogs and watching the sports he once played.

Ring Directors

Tom Martin (Chairman)
Tom joined the Board of Thames & Kennet Machinery Ring Ltd in 1999 and became Chairman in 2005. Since then he has worked with the Ring Manager and other Board Members to increase the level of service and opportunities the Ring offers its members – he is very aware that as a business the Ring is allowed to develop and by doing so should make itself more attractive to New Members. Tom comes from a farming/farm management background. In the early 1990’s he was given the opportunity to start his own largely agricultural related services business, which over the last 20 years has diversified to cover a wide range of activities, employing 3 full time and part-time staff. Tom is married to Geraldine – they have a young family and live in Micheldever near Winchester.

Geoff Elliott
Geoff has been a Machinery Ring member for over twenty years, and a director since 2004. Since a career change to agriculture in his late twenties, Geoff has worked his way through tractor driving, farm and estate management, and farming in partnership. He now farms some 3700 acres of arable crops from his base at Micheldever Station, on a mixture of Farm Business Tenancies, contract-farming agreements and stubble-to-stubble agreements. The land is in fourteen blocks, for nine landowners, stretching from Stockbridge to Thatcham, so logistic skill, enthusiasm and a sense of humour all play major parts in offering a quality service. While most ground is min-tilled, rotational ploughing and thoughtful rotations still provide the backbone of sustainable and profitable crops.

Johnny Cantlay
Johnny left Berkshire College of Agriculture and went home to the family farm and went started hiring portable driers, at one time having five in operation, however the driers were replaced by contract spraying. On giving up the tenancy at Upper Farm, Farnborough Johnny, Heather, Alan and Michael moved to Beedon, where they erected a purpose built barn to house the contract spraying and amenity groundcare equipment, the boys joining the business of J Cantlay & Sons – Michael carrying out most of the ground care work whilst Johnny and Alan concentrated on building the haulage business, when Johnny was forced to retire from the spraying due to allergies. Over the last 5 years they have built up a successful gritting business round for industrial sites, based mainly in Oxfordshire. Johnny’s hobbies have included photography and competitive safari racing. He has been a Ring member since its inception and in the past has helped with the accounts and IT when required.

Ben Butler
Ben farms with his father at Avebury, near Marlborough on a 1000 acre mixed unit, comprising of arable, a single suckler Aberdeen Angus beef herd and sheep. In addition 900 acres are contract farmed and rented under three different agreements. Before returning to the farm, he worked as an Agricultural Business Consultant for Savills in Salisbury.

Stephen Doble
Stephen is a fourth generation tenant farmer and farms 1,400 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 ben 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.

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 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

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 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

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