When was this supposed to take place, exactly? Just had a look in The Book Of The Archers and pretty well everything about Brian suggests he was rolling in it, at least for the first seventeen years he lived in Ambridge:
…a gentleman farmer from a naval background and attractively wealthy.
The couple have a comfortable lifestyle. They were the first family in Ambridge to have their own solar-powered swimming-pool. [Is there likely to be a second? — Ed.] Brian has been able to buy the newest and best farm machinery and add to his land and lifestock [sic.] as he felt fit. He has always expected Jennifer to play a traditional role in their marriage and never liked the idea of her working, but he has indulged her expensive hobbies. His immediate family has also benefitted from his generosity; but Brian can be patronising, which has got on everyone’s nerves, particularly Phil Archer’s—once Brian dismissively gave Phil a blank cheque to cover some damage he’d done to Brookfield stock, which Phil found infuriating.
The only mention of any concerns over money are in the wake of his enforced slowdown after the encounter with the Grundy’s BSE-affected cow, when he felt threatened by the fact that JD managed the farm perfectly well without him:
For a man like Brian such restrictions were unendurable and he found it hard to come to terms with the reality of his condition. Matters weren’t helped by Jennifer’s fussing or the fact that, despite her tendency to histrionics, she looked after the farm competently while he was in hospital.
In 1992 Brian’s desire to manage the farm himself and anxiety about his finances made him interested in the idea of expanding the leisure potential of the estate…his decisions to create a fishing lake and a course for off-the-road riding owe a great deal to [Debbie].
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no businessman, but if that’s the time Brian is talking about I can’t see how the creation of a dump in the middle of their land would fit with trying to attract the paying public.
The trouble they have being cutting edgey is that many of the listeners know the programme better than all but a few of the scripties, and certainly than the editor, and the listeners also own the books written in the 1990s which apparently are not available to the scripties or the archive.
As I may have remarked before, an archive is only any use if it is used.
It’s telling that when a scriptie went to a livestock sale to research a SL it was deemed worthy of a blog post. In fairness, the train from London to Birmingham goes through a fair bit of countryside- you can learn a lot by osmosis.
On air on 19th January) Brian said, “You know the dip that adjoins the new land? there was a pond there a long time ago,” and Jennifer replied, “A very long time ago.” Brian then told her that after they’d drained it they used it as a dump for “rubble and whatnot” – two builders had. So it was in effect a land-levelling thing. She didn’t notice at the time, of course…
On that occasion Brian listed TCE, which degrades into extremely toxic vinyl chloride, plus dieldrin (an organochlorine compound) and methoprop, a weedkiller; on 25th Adam listed large unlabelled drums plus “the chap I was talking to says they’ve found TCE!” Well, yes, Adam, Brian did know about that… and drums containing dieldrin and other organochlorines, about which Brian also knew.
In other words, Adam was simply repeating (in a script by Gillian Richmond) what Brian had already told her the previous week (also in a script by Gillian Richmond), with the addition of unlabelled drums. Oh, were the drums of TCE and dieldrin labelled? That’s lasted well for thirty years.