Project Description

Andrew Farcombe

In position 2020 – 2021

I have lived in Buckinghamshire since 1992 and am married to Jenefer, who is a Deputy Lieutenant of the county.

We live at Hall Barn in Beaconsfield. The house and grounds, built by the poet Edmund Waller around 1680 during the reign of Charles II, are used regularly for charity events, and it is most gratifying to us personally that the estate can be used in this way to support the charity sector.

During my career, I worked in the computer industry in different sectors and was the Technical Director of a number of companies.

I was sworn in as High Sheriff in April 2020, the March 2020 COVID lockdown meaning it had to be done virtually.

This set the tone for the next few months. As planned physical engagements were cancelled overnight, my visits became virtual ones until things loosened up to a certain extent in the summer when I was able to get out and about in person.

My time as High Sheriff

At first, this came as a bit of a shock, getting to grips with things like Zoom and Teams, and learning how to make video clips, but I was very pleasantly surprised and impressed by how much positivity came across during my Zoom sessions with different people and organisations. Many commented, and I agreed, on how the pandemic had brought out the best in people, and another organisation, for which I prepared a video clip to celebrate the start of a religious festival, said that the clip was viewed by over seven thousand people, many more than would have heard what I had to say had the festival celebrations been held physically.

One abiding memory of my year was the number of messages of commiseration from friends, High Sheriffs past and future, and the contacts I made, over what a terrible year it must have been for me.

To these, I have consistently replied that I considered myself to be very fortunate when compared to what others went through. Think of single parents with young children living in a tower block, or people whose businesses have gone bust or who have lost their livelihood, and saddest of all, those who have lost loved ones to COVID.

From what could have been a very negative state of affairs from a High Sheriff’s perspective, I found that I got far more done than I thought I would when COVID struck and got to know some wonderful people.

I wouldn’t have missed my year as High Sheriff for the world.