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News > Community > Catching up with former pupil Sally Egerton (nee Hobson, leaver 2001)

Catching up with former pupil Sally Egerton (nee Hobson, leaver 2001)

15 Jul 2021
Written by Jenny Armitage
Sally with Paul the owner of Happy Valley Honey when they came to King's
Sally with Paul the owner of Happy Valley Honey when they came to King's

Sally joined King’s as a bursary recipient for years 7-11 from Whaley Bridge and said she absolutely loved attending the school. Her fondest memories are of her form tutor Mr Kinshott and of the friend she made here that she is still in regular contact with.

After leaving King’s, Sally wasn’t one hundred percent sure of her path but she did know that she loved working with animals. Sally enrolled for sixth form at Fallibroome Academy but decided that a national Diploma in Animal Management from Reaseheath College was for her. On Saturdays, Sally worked at Bollington Vets which turned into an apprenticeship. While training Sally went to two other practices to gain experience, the first was a critical care centre in Manchester and the second was an animal hospital in New Mills. Sally then returned to Bollington vets as a qualified veterinary nurse. Throughout her 17 years at the practice she worked her way up becoming the senior nurse and then the practice manager. One of her career highlights was working in the Manchester critical care and emergency veterinary centre. Co-ordinating the critical care for animals and offering the best care they could possibly receive. 

As Sally’s career progressed she realised that she had lost touch with the animals not practicing as a nurse anymore and wasn’t enjoying it as much. While working in the vets Sally had taken up bee keeping as a hobby and kept a few hives locally. She got to know Paul Beardmore the owner of Happy Valley Honey as he provided Sally’s bee hives. Paul had seen his idea from a walk in the local area grow exponentially and knowing Sally’s passion for bees, he offered a job working alongside him.

Since joining Happy Valley Honey, Sally has been working with Paul moving their bee hives around the country to pollinate farmer’s fields before collecting them to create honey. Currently Happy Valley Honey have over 100 colonies of worker bees pollinating our countryside. This process doesn’t only encourage the crops to grow it produces different types of honey for us to enjoy. Queen bee rearing is also a process Sally is working on as there is a shortage of queen bees in the UK and it is the safest and best way to introduce a new queen to a hive. Sally has truly found her passion and is furthering her knowledge through studying a Bee Farmers Apprenticeship Course.  

Sally’s story has come full circle as she has come back to King’s, we are currently hosting 4 of Happy Valley’s bee hives on the new campus to add to the curriculum of the school. They are buzzing away by the apple orchid and we hope in the next few years to have ‘King’s Honey’ for you all to try. The Year 2 students were very excited this term as Sally and Paul came in to give them a talk on bee keeping to enhance their studies around bees. Sally and Paul brought a hive with them with a Perspex front so the children could see the worker bees moving around while they learnt about queen bees and their role. Sally is hoping the educational aspect of the business will grow as she is passionate about young beekeepers (seen on the right with her daughter). Paul is currently building a Honey Room at their premises for children to come and learn about the process of making honey and even give it a go with their own miniature bee suits! Hopefully we can arrange a school trip for next year.

Finally, I asked Sally if she had any advice for our current students, and she said the biggest thing was that it’s okay to not be entirely academically focused some people learn in a practical way. She emphasised that an apprenticeship was the right path for her as she wasn’t an academic learner and also that you can change your mind but the most important thing is to ‘bee’ happy!


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