[From: John Lavabre]
James Donaldson was a very prominent and interesting individual. He was born at 2am on December 3, 1868 in Langloan, Old Monkland, Lanark, Scotland. He travelled down from Scotland as a 20 year old and took over the lease of Whitehouse Farm, Brightwell Baldwin. At first his father, also James, helped him because he was under the age of 21 and so legally could not take on the lease alone. Interestingly Jamesís grandmother Helen Donaldson (nee Allan) is buried in Britghtwell Baldwin churchyard so she must have travelled down with her husband. James Snr eventually returned to Scotland apparently claiming he didnít want to be buried "amidst the Sassenachs".
James assimilated into local life becoming an active parish council chairman, county councillor and school governor. He was also active in the farming community, at first as a member of the Chamber of Agriculture but before too long he turned to the National Farmerís Union (NFU). He rose through the ranks becoming chairman of the Oxfordshire branch of the NFU and was very active at national level. He was involved in drawing up the NFUís new constitution in 1922 and actually became President of the NFU in the same year. Put another way, he would have had considerable influence over the Governmentís agricultural policy and had the ear of Government ministers. In addition to the farming, he was also a very successful businessman. He ran an agricultural seed and supply business and built up a very impressive property portfolio.
Florence and James had, I believe, three children although I am only familiar with my grandfather, John Donaldson (I remember Charlotte, or Auntie Jack as she was known, but do not know much about her other than she lived to 100 years of age) . John Donaldson would have been born in either 1913 or 1914. He took over the farm and business and ran them until his death in the late nineteen sixties (it was either 1967 or 1969, I canít quite remember).