The Hertford community is saddened to hear of the death of Vic Madden, who was the college groundsman for 48 years. One of Hertford’s longest-serving members of staff, Vic joined the college in 1956 at the age of 19, working as the groundsman for three colleges initially – Hertford, Exeter and St Catherine’s. Vic was a keen cricketer and would turn out for the college as well as umpiring games. On top of that, during the early days Vic and his late wife Margaret would do all the catering for matches, too.
The above picture, taken in 1958, shows a young Vic driving an adapted bullnose Morris which was used to roll the cricket and football pitches ready for play. The Morris replaced a horse-drawn roller.
Generations of students, fellows, and staff will have fond memories of Vic. For nearly five decades he remained dedicated to Hertford, and would usually only take one day off a year, to go to the Thame Show. He once said that if he had to live his life over again, he would not hesitate to do the same job!
After his retirement in 2004, Vic enjoyed breeding and showing canaries. He was a top breeder and was invited to judge competitions as far afield as New Zealand.
Vic died peacefully last week, at the age of 86. Our thoughts are with his sons Paul and Ian, his grandchildren, and wider family and friends.