My Writtle Story: Chris Newenham

January 2023

Image for press release - Chris smiles at the camera. there are rows of strawberry plants behind him.

Chris Newenham is Joint Managing Director of Wilkin & Sons Ltd. The company is famous for its 'Tiptree' brand which has produced preserves, marmalades and associated products since 1885.

Chris completed an HND Comm Hort at Writtle in 1992.


What does Writtle mean to you? 

Writtle gave me a great grounding in life. Having grown up in a fairly insular environment it provided opportunities to meet a wide range of people from a broad variety of backgrounds. Along the way I learned a bit about horticulture, business and management too!


What were your Writtle highlights? 

Hockey - mixed hockey on the old grass pitches at Fox Burrows was intense but great fun - the pitches were 'challenging' and the girls were merciless.  My time on the Students' Union was memorable. Living in Harvey 1 as we did back then was always eventful as was preparation for various events - Rag Week and its ball a stand out, as for the Moulshom 11, my head already hurts at the very thought of it.

Having the opportunity to contribute later on to the Governance of the College was a privilege, there were many challenges along the way but the student experience was always front and centre and to now meet many of these former students in the work place is always rewarding. 

Supporting the SMT to achieve University College status was another milestone.


Could you tell us about your experiences after leaving Writtle? 

Having left Writtle I travelled south east Asia and the antipodes for a year (before a gap year was a thing...), managed farms in the UK, bred Cocoa in Papua New Guinea, ran a plastics factory on the Isle of Wight and moved to Tiptree in 2001 where I have been ever since. 

Today I am privileged to lead the business in collaboration with an amazing team. 


Do you have any advice for our current students?

Be a radiator and not a sink!  You will get out of life what you put into it but at least post Writtle you will have had the very best possible grounding for everything that comes next and... you never stop learning always keep an open mind.