Auction of Broome Farm

There was a large amount of activity from then on. I was only working half-time (not for the BDAA), so could dedicate a large amount of time to this. There were many meetings, trips to Europe and all around Britain trying to raise awareness and interest people and groups in the opportunity of buying Broome Farm as a really dynamic centre. Eventually the support was there to make a good offer to the Clement Family. We were all very perplexed and disappointed when the family refused that offer and insisted it went to auction. So the awareness raising and fund-raising went from March 1987 to July 1987. 

I do but will never forget, I was at the auction sale which was on 8th July 1987 and went back to Broome Farm where David’s wife had cooked a meal for everyone that was supposed to be a celebration but it felt like going to a wake after a funeral. It was terrible to see them both so crushed. For them it certainly felt like they had been abandoned by their family. They felt devastated.

Jim Willetts …was recommended by David Clement who had some connection with him. He was also connected to the local Anthroposophical group. There was something very strange there at the auction. I saw Jim talking to the man who was the person bidding for the successful person who bought it in the end, so I always wondered if there was some sort of illicit goings on there. 

The irony is that, after the percentage the auction house took and all the fees were paid, they ended up with less that they would have got from a straight sale to the BDAA.

This is what I wrote to donors on Wed 15th July 1987: “It is with warm gratitude that we write to thank you for the generous support you showed for the Broome Farm Appeal. The auction took place last Wednesday (8th July and unfortunately we were unable to bid sufficiently high. This is a cause of great sadness to us all, but the farm was sold at a speculative price of £614,000 which was beyond our reach.”

I think ultimately we could make something positive of it and I feel the most positive thing was an awakening of a wider group of people in the country about the work of Biodynamics. Donors were asked if they would like to support the wider work of the BDAA in these four areas: training, national and regional development, research and Demeter. It is interesting to follow what happened next in each of these areas. Particularly the training and Demeter developed from this time.