Elizabeth Creak Charitable Trust
Elizabeth Creak was born in Slough in 1926. She attended McGill University in Canada before working for Allen Lane at Penguin Books in both the UK and latterly America, where she helped to establish their new venture. She returned to the UK to eventually work with her uncle, Clyde Higgs, who by then had built up a thriving two thousand acre dairy farm in Warwickshire. Prior to this, Clyde had also developed a four thousand acre farm in the foothills of Mount Kilamanjaro and held a number of other positions including: Managing Director of English Farms in Wiltshire; Agricultural correspondent of the BBC and Council Member of the Royal Agricultural Society. Clyde was a highly innovative and enterprising farmer who was well known for challenging the status quo and cross-fertilizing best practices among farmers in the UK and around the world. His practical approach and constant quest for efficiency, gained at the family’s electric motor business, helped him to significantly increase output across his farms. He clearly recognized a similar passion and ability in Elizabeth and mentored her to become his successor.
In 1963 Elizabeth inherited Clyde’s farm in Warwickshire and ran it with great success for a number of years. She was a highly capable and well respected farmer and brought many creative ideas to the world of farming. She eventually sold the bulk of the business, but maintained a substantial acreage around Stratford. Elizabeth’s business acumen, determination and integrity were the reasons she was invited on to the boards of many local charitable organizations including the Royal Agricultural Society, the Stoneleigh Abbey Trust and the Stratford Society. She was the first female chairman of the Warwickshire branch of the NFU and in 1998 she became the first woman to hold the office of High Sheriff of Warwickshire. She was also a keen supporter of local craftsmen, artists and the theatre.
Elizabeth passed away in October 2013 and left the bulk of her estate to the Elizabeth Creak Charitable Trust. Elizabeth created the Trust to provide ‘Clyde Higgs Scholarships’ in agriculture; support and encourage new blood in farming and finance projects to help farmers survive and ultimately thrive in their challenging modern environment.