Lifelong farmer Richard Bascome dies
A lifelong farmer from the West End who carried on a proud family tradition of living off the land has died at 85.
Richard Bascome was a dairy farmer who tended Westover Farm in Sandys.
He recalled delivering milk as a child with his father, also Richard, by a bicycle and then on a wagon and finally by truck.
Mr Bascome told The Royal Gazette in 1996: “I like everything about farming.
“It is hard work but it is a way of life that I choose.”
Mr Bascome grew up balancing farm work with school in the days before pasteurisation.
He spent ten years in the United States studying animal husbandry and working on farms.
Mr Bascome recalled: “When I came back, my father was still here and he said that once you decide to go into farming, you are in for the long haul.
“There are no short cuts. It's early to bed and early to rise. He suggested to get everything out of my system and then when I was ready I could get down to the hard work.”
After working as a salesman at AS Cooper's, Mr Bascome took up farming full-time from 1965.
Windswept and rugged on its hilltop overlooking Daniel’s Head, Westover Farm was a crucial supplier of milk as well as fresh meat from its abattoir, and vegetables.
The farm even attracted tourists keen to see an old way of Bermudian life.
“I have used every method of farming, the horses, the hoe and right on up to the tractor and all of the other modern equipment,” Mr Bascome said.
“Everybody who knows me or my family in this community knows us as farmers.”
Passionate about passing on the skills, Mr Bascome helped mentor other farmers.
He was appointed to the Agriculture Board and in 2005 the farm won a $10,000 grant from the Government.
Mr Bascome told the Gazette: ““I was born in it. My father had it. So I got to stay with it now. I don’t know anything else.”
He was awarded the Queen’s Certificate and Badge of Honour in 2014 for service to the community.
⋅ Richard Alpheus Bascome, one of the island’s best-known farmers, was born on December 18, 1935. He died last month, aged 85.