Tributes to Longridge vet John

John Dodson Scambler
John Dodson Scambler

A former Longridge vet was remembered as ‘a generous person of the highest integrity’ by his one-time business partner at the service of thanksgiving for his life last week.

Andrew Hutcheson was paying tribute to John Scambler in a packed church, St James Whitechapel, where he was actively involved and was at one time treasurer.

The trust and loyalty of the farming fraternity that John enjoyed was unsurpassed

Andrew Hutcheson

Now retired, Andrew explained how he joined the thriving Scambler practice in Longridge in 1977, being a partner for eight years until John’s retirement in 1990.

“It was with great pleasure I worked alongside him, to learn from a great teacher and to have a lifelong friend and mentor,” said Andrew, who learnt both veterinary and people skills from him.

“John practiced both the art and science of veterinary medicine.

“He was a brilliant observer of animal behaviour and always listened carefully to the clients’ history.

“He embraced and introduced the new scientific veterinary advances and techniques into farming, improving the welfare and productivity of livestock and therefore the profitability of his farming clients.”

A no-nonsense talker with sound practical skills, he was an innovator, designing a metal splint, then made by the local blacksmith for a cow with a broken leg.

“The trust and loyalty of the farming fraternity that John enjoyed was unsurpassed,” Andrew Hutcheson told the congregation.

John Scambler, who was 84, was born and brought up at Oakenhead Farm in Whitechapel, attending the village primary and then Preston Grammar School.

After two attempts at 14 and 16 to join Liverpool Vet School and 20 months National Service in REME, he started at the vet school in 1950, qualified in 1955 and then joined Eric Forest’s practice in Blackburn.

He and his wife Barbara, a teacher, met at university, married in 1957 and after two years in Gloucester where John was a veterinary investigation officer with the Ministry of Agriculture and involved with outbreaks of TB, fowl pest and swine fever, he joined George Lindsay in partnership in his vet practice near Preston’s Moor Park.

He and Barbara settled in Longridge,and he soon built up the farm side of the practice.

After a few years, the partnership was dissolved and John ran the practice from Longridge.

Over the years, the couple enjoyed university reunions, John was a past president of the Goosnargh and Longridge show, a PNE supporter, he loved bowling, snooker and golf, and was a keen gardener. He was also a strong family man and is survived by his wife, four children and eight grandchildren.