Aussie Earl celebrates 20 years

THE colourful and often outspoken Aussie Earl of Stradbroke is celebrating 20 years of ownership of the Henham Estate in north Suffolk.It was during the early hours (Australian time) of July 18, 1983, that Keith Rous became the sixth Earl of Stradbroke.

THE colourful and often outspoken Aussie Earl of Stradbroke is celebrating 20 years of ownership of the Henham Estate in north Suffolk.

It was during the early hours (Australian time) of July 18, 1983, that Keith Rous became the sixth Earl of Stradbroke.

Speaking to the EADT from his Mount Fyans ranch near Darlington in remote south western Victoria yesterday, Lord Stradbroke thank people in Suffolk who have helped him over the years.

"Suffolk people really are fantastic and there are so many I want to thank. "You guys on the newspaper have been very good to me over the years and I would also like to thank everyone at Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Coastal and Waveney councils for putting up with me.


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"The local residents and the many contractors and other workers on the estate have all been great and I owe them a debt of gratitude," said Lord Stradbroke.

In an anniversary message Lord Stradbroke said he and his family "would like to thank England for a wonderful time, in particular the QC's involved in the court battles, the support given to us by many locals, our tenants over the years and the local authorities."

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The Earl is also looking forward to the next stage in the renovation of the 3,700-acre estate between Halesworth and Southwold.

Lord Stradbroke, who has 15 children, has no intention of mellowing in the coming years.

"My time making babies may have come to an end but the fighting spirit continues. Long live England and look forward to seeing you again in September 2004," he said.

Over the years the Earl has had his differences with planners and conservation bodies about his ideas for the estate.

His present plans to replace the mansion with a building more in the style of the James Wyatt designed hall built in the 18th Century has been well received.

In 1994 the Aussie Earl put properties on the estate up for sale for more than £2.2 million. Both these measures, he insisted, were needed to help preserve the future of the historic estate.

The Earl's 19-year-old son Henham, named after the Suffolk estate, is currently running things in Suffolk on behalf of his father.

There have been one or two problems on the north Suffolk estate this year with the annual tractor run and steam rally, both normally held at Henham Park, being held on different venues as they could not agree on rental terms.

Henham Rous said he was disappointed that these events were not being held on the park this year but wished them well and hoped they would be able to return next year.

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