Taking Ambridge

May 3, 1996

Great excitement among radio soap listeners at Heriot-Watt University at the appointment of John Archer as the next vice chancellor, with fans of Radio 4's venerable chronicle of country folk speculating on the possibility of the campus being overrun by Gloucester Old Spot pigs and discarded girlfriends. Reality is a little more prosaic. Like a lot of vice chancellors, Professor Archer is a distinguished engineer and his past includes the distinctly uncountryfolk-ish occupations of professor of petroleum engineering and dean of the Royal School of Mines. Even so, life has something in common with art - his hobbies include the intense cultivation of vegetables in raised beds.

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