Welcome to David Barham

Our new subscription secretary

I moved to Milton two years ago with my wife and two young boys and since then we haven’t looked back! We so enjoy living in a rural community that is so full of life and have been surrounded by such wonderful people. We feel very privileged to live here, enjoy the countryside and welcome the opportunity to support the brilliant institution that is The Wychwood.

After studying engineering at university, I gained a commission in the Army’s Royal Engineers and spent an interesting and fulfilling several years travelling widely and soldiering in a number of conflict zones. Interspersed between operational tours were the more positive sides to service life. A definite highlight being the opportunity to be part of an eight-week expedition rafting a previously unnavigated river in South America led by one of the country’s, if not the world’s, great explorers, John Blashford-Snell. It was an absolutely incredible experience and I commend unpowered river travel to anyone who has not tried it.

I left the military when the prospect of running a desk and routine six-month deployments to loss-making wars became an increasing reality. I worked as a project manager for a construction consultancy, initially bang in the middle of the Libyan Sahara Desert (pre-revolution…although when enquiring about the extraction plan should the country go belly up I was informed that ‘a taxi from Tripoli would drive the 800 miles over the sand!) and then in London.

I found myself working in a different flavour of the defence world at a time when with really young children, my wife could have done with me at home more regularly. Having finally got around to doing some of that engineering I read at university, I became a certified engineer working in a highly technical world full of widgets.

It must have been a desire to get back into the ‘outside world’ that led me to join the Civil Service, working on a large public sector merger in Swindon. While no longer a civil servant, I currently work from home within an human resources department as their technical programme manager for the organisation that funded much of the UK’s vaccine research.

I did not imagine volunteering as subscriptions secretary would warrant such an article as this. I enjoy building and managing small databases, running projects, and generally avoiding the limelight. However, given I am also the village’s Beaver Scouts Leader (which is a truly rewarding role), perhaps I need to review the latter!

Often to be found on a mountain bike, sawing/chopping/stacking wood (a middle-aged, lockdown-initiated pastime that I can’t explain) I look forward to contributing to the magazine.

August-September 2021