The Adventures of Robert Prothero; a musing by Tony the Operations Director

With increasing frequency, I find the topic of despair in the current young generation is raised in conversation with much passion and, in my opinion, almost as much ignorance.

My go to line involves asking people to consider, or if in our home or in appropriate surroundings, actually go and look at historic photographs of Army sub-units (infantry companies, cavalry squadrons, artillery batterys etc). Imagine about 100, mostly young, people arranged reasonably formally in photographs taken over the last 150 years.

What do we notice. The clothing changes, the equipment changes, the quality of the photography changes, the haircuts and facial hair (mostly) change. But the faces stay the same. Granted, I am repeatedly casting my metaphorical quadrat onto similar ground but we can recognise the same characters in almost any cross section of humanity. The fools, the lovers, the shy, the confident, the tall, the short, the large, the small, the workers, the shirkers.

In this blip in evolutionary time nothing has changed. My troublesome grandfather perfected his handwriting in his teens as a punishment for whistling on a Sunday. My parents came of age in the counterculture of the 1960s. I grew up in the apparent hedonism of the 1980s and 1990s. Then came the Playstation Generation whose bodies and minds were alleged wasted by screen time and inactivity but then spent 15 years fighting with distinction in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This is a picture of Robert Prothero on his current holiday. He joined Yorkshire Dales Distillery 2 years ago under the Kickstart Scheme having been long term unemployed and has been with us ever since. He is a highly valued member of the Production Team and we miss him when he’s not here. Whilst you might have thought that someone of his age and outlook would be spending his annual leave in a sunny resort, he worked through the Summer and is now spending 2 weeks exploring the battlefields, memorials and sights of Northern France. I can’t wait to find out all about it when he gets back and, in the longer term, see how he continues to grow and develop.

Don’t despair about this generation. It’s just the same as yours. And you didn’t turn out too badly did you.