Published On: Thu, Apr 29th, 2021

SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Farmer digs in as 4th Earl of Plymouth seeks to turf him off estate 

To the neutral observer, it looks a rather uneven contest. In the blue-blooded corner, lording it over 8,000 Shropshire acres from his family seat, Oakly Park, is Ivor Windsor-Clive, 4th Earl of Plymouth.

And in the red dragon corner is one of the Earl’s tenants, Jenkin Rees, who, for the past 56 years, has farmed 240 acres on the Windsor-Clives’ secondary estate to the west of Cardiff.

Now, in a court judgment, Rees has been ordered to pay £10,000-a-month towards £100,000 in legal costs incurred by the Earl as he’s battled to gain control of Maes Y Llech Farm — Rees’s home. It’s earmarked for development as part of a massive new garden city, with 7,000 houses being built over 20 years.

Rees, 88, who lives at the farm with his wife Brenda, 85, and their son Phillip, 60, declines to comment, but his solicitor, Peter Williams, tells me that the family wants a longstanding agreement to be honoured.

Now, in a court judgment, Rees has been ordered to pay £10,000-a-month towards £100,000 in legal costs incurred by the Earl as he’s battled to gain control of Maes Y Llech Farm — Rees’s home

It’s earmarked for development as part of a massive new garden city, with 7,000 houses being built over 20 years

It’s earmarked for development as part of a massive new garden city, with 7,000 houses being built over 20 years

‘Jenkin Rees had discussions with the late Earl’s agent going way back into the 1960s,’ Williams explains. ‘Jenkin recognised that, one day, there might be a desire to develop part of the farm but, if there was, he would be paid “fair compensation” to enable him to locate the family farm elsewhere.

A spokesman for the Plymouth Estate acknowledges that ‘the ending of any tenancy can be difficult, particularly when it involves a family home’. He tells me: ‘This is why over the last five years the owners have continually tried to engage Mr Rees and his family and repeatedly offered financial compensation terms, which were well beyond the legal statutory requirements.

‘These have all been ignored or rejected by the Rees family.’

But Williams retorts: ‘If Jenkin does not make the £10,000 payments, he’s not allowed to continue his battle to save his home — or get fair compensation.’

Rees, 88, who lives at the farm with his wife Brenda, 85, and their son Phillip, 60, declines to comment, but his solicitor, Peter Williams, tells me that the family wants a longstanding agreement to be honoured

Rees, 88, who lives at the farm with his wife Brenda, 85, and their son Phillip, 60, declines to comment, but his solicitor, Peter Williams, tells me that the family wants a longstanding agreement to be honoured

Stop all the clocks. The Good Life actress Felicity Kendal is mourning the death of her beloved cocker spaniel George. ‘I used to walk endlessly with my dog George,’ she says. ‘He was 14 and a half and wasn’t well and then died. I say to myself, “Where’s George? I can’t go to the park if I can’t take George”.’

Advantage… Prince George!

IT’S not long since Prince Philip’s funeral but already status-conscious members of the Hurlingham Club are lobbying for a successor as royal patron.

Philip held the position at the Thames-side country club for decades and caused a stir on his last visit when he landed by helicopter, with the downdraft removing members’ hats.

Joining his father then was Prince Edward, who a group of members are now keen to see installed as patron. They have made their request to club chairman, Old Etonian financier Luke Nunneley, who may be well-placed to make an informal approach to Edward — he’s a cousin of the Earl of Snowdon and his wife is Princess Anne’s lady-in-waiting.

But others in the £1,600-a-year club favour another royal — one who has paid far more visits than Edward. Step forward, the Duchess of Cambridge.

Kate is a regular — she takes Prince George there for tennis lessons.

Rosie’s £400 sandals are not to be sniffed at

Having fallen in love with comfy shoes during lockdown, M&S lingerie model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has decided to make her first foray into footwear design.

‘I never knew I would become such a fan of flats this past year,’ says the 34-year-old from Devon. ‘Working on my collection was the perfect opportunity to design my dream flat sandals.’

Not for the frugal-minded, her new line with an Italian brand, which comprises eight different designs, will set you back as much as £515 a pair. Rosie, who has a three-year-old son with actor Jason Statham, shared a picture of herself sporting the £400 suede toe-ring sandals.

Having fallen in love with comfy shoes during lockdown, M&S lingerie model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has decided to make her first foray into footwear design

Having fallen in love with comfy shoes during lockdown, M&S lingerie model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has decided to make her first foray into footwear design

Comedian Steve Coogan is just as vain as his alter-ego, Alan Partridge, according to Made In Chelsea star Spencer Matthews, who was shown the actor’s home while flat-hunting in Notting Hill with his wife, Vogue Williams.

‘There were photos of Steve Coogan everywhere in little silver frames. It was very odd,’ recalls the Old Etonian brother-in-law of Pippa Middleton.

‘Despite popular belief, I haven’t got photos of myself all over the house, but there were photos of Steve everywhere in his.

‘We said to the girl who was showing us the flat, “God, whoever lives here is a massive Steve Coogan fan!”

‘And she was like, “No, this is Steve Coogan’s flat.” ’

Star Trek legend William Shatner, who turned 90 last month, has made some unusual plans for his burial – he wants to be a tree. ‘What I’m going to do is have my body put in a pod and a tree is placed over the pod and the tree becomes your gravestone and it feeds off the body,’ explains the former Captain Kirk.

He adds: ‘You become part of nature and this tree grows as a result of you. I want to be a sequoia.’

Supernova assembles the party faithful in Moscow  

Supermodel Natalia ‘Supernova’ Vodianova is doing her bit to revive the party scene.

The Calvin Klein campaign star, who lives in Paris with her husband, businessman Antoine Arnault, returned to her native Russia this week to host a gala in Moscow where indoor events can take place so long as the venue does not exceed 50 per cent capacity.The 39-year-old mother of five, who wore an eye-catching Schiaparelli burgundy dress for the occasion, was raising funds for The Naked Heart Foundation, a charity she founded to help children and families with disabilities and special needs.

‘Moscow spring can be rainy, but it would not rain on our parade,’ she says.

Supermodel Natalia ‘Supernova’ Vodianova is doing her bit to revive the party scene

Supermodel Natalia ‘Supernova’ Vodianova is doing her bit to revive the party scene

Dame Esther Rantzen has found a new campaign to get her teeth into — internet scamming. ‘I had two attempts in my emails, one was purporting to be from Royal Mail saying they had tried to deliver a parcel and if I clicked on this link, I would be able to arrange another delivery,’ she says. ‘The other thing I got is I’m a subscriber to Netflix and this was a genuine-looking reminder that my membership is up for renewal and all I’ve got to do is click on this link.

‘I nearly fell for it. I do think it’s a shame we haven’t found ways of sorting this out.’

Ex Police man and wife join diplomat corps

They purchased their beautiful Tuscan villa more than 20 years ago.

Now musician Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler, are making their ties with Europe official.

The couple have been sworn in as Ambassadors at Large for the Republic of San Marino, one of the world’s smallest countries which is landlocked and surrounded by Italy.

‘We will carry the spirit and love of this beautiful small country wherever we go,’ says film producer Trudie.

‘We take on this honour with great pride.’

Now musician Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler, are making their ties with Europe official. The couple have been sworn in as Ambassadors at Large for the Republic of San Marino, one of the world’s smallest countries which is landlocked and surrounded by Italy

Now musician Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler, are making their ties with Europe official. The couple have been sworn in as Ambassadors at Large for the Republic of San Marino, one of the world’s smallest countries which is landlocked and surrounded by Italy

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