A Vyne volunteer restores the ram pump

John now carries visitors between the house and car park © Geoff Smith

John now carries visitors between the house and car park

John Pollock
Buggy driver and photographer
The Vyne, Hampshire

John Pollock has been volunteering at The Vyne for nearly a decade. He's experienced a few different roles and used his expertise to help us look after our water pump. Here he tells us more about his time with us.

Making things happen

When I first started life as a volunteer gardener in 2003, I never thought I'd be given so many opportunities to get involved with such a variety of projects. Within a short time I also became a buggy driver, which opened up a whole new world of possibilities. I took over the role of overseeing buggy maintenance and creating a rota to manage the pool of drivers and ensure that driving times were suitable for both volunteers and our visitors. I've now been doing this for over 7 years.

Ram pump restoration

I used to work in engineering, so was given the chance to get involved in the restoration of the water pump and sluice gates at The Vyne. This was something I took great pleasure in doing as the finished product was spectacular and it enabled me to run the waterwheel pump for visitors, answering any questions they had. I worked with a firm of contractors on a project which by the finish would allow the ram pump to make use of the lake water. The lake water would have been used for the sustainable irrigation of the gardens and flushing of toilets.

Snap happy

I've also been involved in taking publicity photographs during events and activities. This gave me a great deal of enjoyment, especially when I saw my photographs appearing in newspapers and magazines. The photos were a joy to take and it's wonderful knowing that other people would see them and link them to The Vyne.

Summing up...

During my time with the National Trust I can safely say I've met a wide variety of people, many of which I've become friends with and maintain contact with to this day.

If you'd like to get involved as a volunteer, why not find out more?