John Scotney used to think his CV made him seem interesting but now realises it simply makes him seem very old. In the sixties he emerged from Cambridge University to go off to India where he taught history at Delhi University but also found time to play English villains in Bollywood and help design and run what he claims was the first discothèque in India. Returning to England he joined the BBC Radio Drama Department and in 1970 went off to Belfast as the BBC’s Drama Producer just in time to be caught up in the noisy and quite dangerous start of ‘The Troubles’. Over the next twenty-five years or so he wrote over a hundred Radio Programmes, directed over three hundred plays and features, produced a live World Service Arts programme (he was horrified to find it had a total of over twenty million listeners) and served as a very incompetent Head of BBC TV Drama Script Unit. And despite all this the only thing anyone ever asks him about is the six months he spent as boss of The Archers. His BBC career, like that of so many others effectively ended with the arrival of John Birt as Director General. He has taught at every level from Primary to Post Graduate and has written six (short) books –three about Brixham - and contributed to four others. He has spent far too much time sitting on committees including the Arts Council Drama Panel, The National Poetry Society Executive, the Executive of the Script Writers Union (The Writers’ Guild) of which he was chair and (don’t ask) the Hertfordshire Committee of the Chartered Association of Plumbers and Heating Engineers. After The Archers he swore he would never ever live in a village and after he retired, that he would not ever again sit on any committee whatsoever. He and his long-suffering wife now live in the village of Galmpton and he has been on the committees of both Galmpton History Society and of Brixham Heritage Museum, (of which he was chair for a year).
An illustrated talk by John Scotney who has written a book on the Mayflower II project. The Mayflower II is a replica of the 17th century ship that took the first permanent settlers to America in 1620. It was built at Upham’s Shipyard, Brixham, and in 1957 sailed to America in celebration of the arrival in the original Mayflower.