Episode 08 – Roc Sandford

In this episode I talk to Roc Sandford of Gometra.

Roc has owned Gometra since the late 80’s.
He has had a long and interesting career as both a farmer and a publisher, as well as working on the board for an inner city affordable housing trust in London.

His family history is both long and full of remarkable individuals.
Both of his parents have had acclaim and critical success for their era defining work. His mother, Nell Dunn, wrote both Up the Junction, which was inspired by their community in Battersea and Poor Cow amongst many other works. His father, Jeremy Sandford wrote Cathy Come Home, and was a champion of the lives and rights of travelling people.

I first met Roc when I was working as a local development officer for the Ulva Ferry area. I was greatly taken with his charm, sincerity and sense of fun.
Our conversation in this episode takes in all sorts of topics. We talk about the history of the ownership of Gometra in some depth, and Roc offers a perspective on lazy beds, those furrows that permeate our landscapes, that I’d never thought of before.

We cover some esoteric matters, family stories, the genetic make up of notional populations, climate change and a quite remarkable coincidence, harking back to my conversation with Lucy MacKenzie about the Happy Valley murder, that you can find about half way through the episode.

I spoke to Roc via facetime audio, through my computer and into a sound recorder. The line occasionally makes squelchy odd noises, but I think it’s pretty clear, all things considered.


Gometra on Google earth

Nell Dunn

Jeremy Sandford

Lord Beuchamp

The Poor Law

Bondagers by Sue Glover

The Extinction Rebellion – https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRebellion/
An article related to Roc’s location when we chatted  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/nov/12/climate-activists-glue-hands-to-uk-government-building-in-new-protest

Mary Carbery

Celtic Twilight

Carol White


Genetic History

DASG – Dachaigh airson Stòras na Gàidhlig / Digital Archive of Scottish Gaelic
Website:  dasg.ac.uk  Twitter:  @DASG_Glaschu



2 thoughts on “Episode 08 – Roc Sandford

Add yours

    1. Thank you! If you search for Roc online you can follow all that he’s been doing over the last months to raise awareness of climate change. He’s very committed to the cause. Cheers!


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