NEW Three Counties Agricultural Society chief Ken Nottage is getting on his bike to get on with the job.

Mr Nottage, who officially took over at the Malvern showground last month, is not fazed by the 90-acre perimeter site at the foot of the Malvern Hills and has turned to pedal power, courtesy of a 1957 Royal Enfield, fully restored for him by Nick Trotman, of Malvern Cycles CIC.

He said: “I was reading a copy of Three Into One – John Lewis’s excellent chronicle of the society – and was amused to read that years ago, a former company secretary carried out his ground inspections astride a pony.

“I was inspired to follow suit, but with no equine prowess to my name, opted for an arguably safer, and definitely less temperamental, mode of transport.

“I wanted a bike that was at least as old as me. This is a beautiful place to work, but it’s also a large area to cover on foot, so a bike is a great way of getting from A to B quickly, without polluting the fresh air.”

Mr Nottage arrived at the Three Counties Showground from Gloucester Rugby, where he spent 13 seasons, and is credited for completely remodelling its Kingsholm ground, and putting in place an effective commercial structure.

Prior to that, he was chief executive of Newcastle United’s Sporting Club, with responsibility for its football, rugby, ice hockey and basketball clubs.

At Malvern, he leads a staff of 31, and has the job of broadening the base of the society’s income and expanding its charitable activities, by developing the shows and venue hire business.