Founder of Ladies in Pigs, Glenda Montgomery, dies, aged 89

Glenda Montgomery, a hugely respected and much-loved figure across the pig industry who co-founded Ladies in Pigs in 1991, has died at the age of 89.

Glenda was married to Rex Mongomery, a farm manager, who kept his own pigs in partnership with a local publican on an estate in Weybridge, in Surrey.

In a colourful profile on Glenda in Pig World in 2006 (see pages 41 to 46), Digby Scott explained how they met in the china cupboard at University Vandals rugby club – and how Ladies in Pigs, still going strong today, was started.

“Had Glenda not met Rex Montgomery in the cupboard, had he not been keeping pigs in sties near the big house on a Surrey estate, and had the income from the pigs not paid for their wedding, she would not, years later, have been on a coach full of pig farmers who were grumbling about poor prices,” he wrote.

“She put up with it for as long as she could, then stood up and berated them for whingeing. For goodness sake get out there and promote your product, she cried.

“If you’re so clever, YOU do it, they yelled back. ‘And I thought, buggered if I won’t.’ So there you have it. That’s how Ladies in Pigs started.”

Over what is now nearly three decades on, the organisation that Glenda founded has become an institution, still appearing at events up and down the country, promoting high quality, great tasting Red Tractor British pork. It is now increasingly branching out into educating young people about the realities of pig farming and the many benefits of British pork.

The lady now at the helm, Debbie Wilson, paid a glowing tribute to Glenda.

“Glenda was such a wonderful person and one I always had a great deal of respect for,” she said. “She was the driving force in establishing Ladies in Pigs and it is said that, although she liked a gin after a hard days work with the ladies, she was tireless in her determination!

“The ladies send their love and support to the lovely Rex and family at this very sad time.”

Former NPA chair Richard Longthorp described Glenda a ‘larger than life character, particularly after a gin or three’.

Glenda Lips van
In his article, Digby explained how Glenda had a habit of departing from recipes with ‘a pinch
of this and a soupçon of that’.

“I tell them to follow the recipe in the book but always to remember it is a basic recipe and if they can think of ways of improving it, perhaps with garlic or herbs, then they should. Don’t think that recipes are written in tablets of stone,” she said

“Pork is such a versatile meat and will readily adapt to all sorts and types of flavours. When you’ve had a bit of experience you soon learn how to improve recipes with a spot of this and a tincture of that.”

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About The Author

Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.