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Presidential Team

2020/21 CAAV Presidential Team

Andrew Coney (Senior Vice President), Andrew Thomas (President), Simon Alden (Junior Vice President)

Andrew Thomas BSc (Land Man) MRICS FAAV FLAA

CAAV President

Andrew was born and raised in his early years in the Vale of Glamorgan, where he still practices. He was educated at Wycliffe College in Gloucestershire before reading for a Degree in Land Management at Reading University which he completed in 1984.

Andrew started his career at Berry Bros in Kettering under the pupilage of the late Leslie Northen OBE (a former President of the Agriculture Division of the RICS). It is here that he commenced his auctioneering career, attending Kettering, Market Harborough and Olney livestock markets on a weekly basis.

During his employment at Berry Bros, he gained his RICS and FAAV qualifications (1986 and 1987 respectively). He returned to Cowbridge in 1987 to join the family firm, Herbert R Thomas, which was founded by his late grandfather. He worked closely with late father, Robert Thomas (a first-class Honours graduate of Cambridge University). Herbert R Thomas has grown over the years into a multi-discipline company of Chartered Surveyors, offering property related services across the rural, residential and commercial sectors. The company also operates three livestock markets.

Andrew has been Chairman of the CAAV Wales Committee and a representative at CAAV Council for many years. He also served as the President of Wales, West Midlands and Midlands Examination Centre. He is an away member of the CAAV Midlands Counties Association.

Andrew is married to Lynne, a former retail fashion buyer, now freeland trainer/business coach. They have four children (the eldest twins are gainfully employed, one a commecial Chartered Surveyor in London and the other a Recruitment Manager with PWC). The youngest two are continuing with their education in Manchester and Southampton Universities respectively.

In true Welsh tradition, Andrew is a keen rugby supporter (having played first class rugby for Northampton whilst working for Berry Bros). He enjoys keeping fit and has successfully completed the London Marathon on several occasions and is a regular participant of the Cardiff Half Marathon. He hopes that this stamina will hold him in good stead for his three years of service to the CAAV as part of its Presidential Team!


CAAV Senior Vice-President

Andrew was born and raised in central Berkshire. He was educated at Pangbourne College and then attended the Royal Agricultural College at Cirencester obtaining his Diploma in Rural Estate Management in 1985. Andrew started his professional career at Ingham and Yorke at the Huntroyd Estate Office in Lancashire and during this time met his wife to be, Lindsay.

In 1988 Andrew moved to Dreweatt Neate at their Donnington Priory office in Newbury and whilst with Dreweatt Neate passed his RICS and CAAV exams in 1989 and 1991 respectively. Andrew returned to Lancashire in 1994 when he joined Smith Hodgkinson McGinty as the partner running their Preston Office.

In 1999 Andrew joined P Wilson and Company also in Preston where he remains to date becoming a Partner in 2002. Andrew undertakes a wide range of instructions including property management, valuation, compulsory purchase, AMC instruction, agency and property auctioneering.

Andrew was elected President of the Lancashire Agricultural Valuers Association in 1999, was a Northern Group Examiner from 2004 to 2008 and the LAVA representative to CAAV Northern Group from 2004 to 2014. Andrew was CAAV Northern Group Chairman from 2014 to 2016. He was a member of the CAAV Written Board from 2009 to 2012 and was Chair of the Written Board in his last year. From 2013 to date Andrew has been a CAAV Examination National Observer. Andrew joined VCT in 2012 and remains on that Committee and has been its Chairman since 2015 and is therefore CAAV representative at TEGoVA. Andrew has been a Chairman or a member of various working parties including those on Fracking, Business Rates, CPO and Claims Best Practice, Insurance Assessments, Natural Capital and Payment for Eco System Services, Land Value Capture and the Future Skills Working Group.

Andrew has been married to Lindsay for 30 years and they have three sons, Stephen, Matthew and Robert.

Stephen is married to Lauren and is a self-employed joiner. Matthew and Robert work in the recruitment and banking sectors respectively.

In his spare time Andrew enjoys walking and spending time with good friends and the hospitality of the many good restaurants that the Ribble Valley offers as well as spending time with his family including his grandchildren.


CAAV Junior Vice-President

Simon was born in Oxfordshire and raised on his family’s farm where he still lives today. The family catering butchery business, R R Alden & Son Ltd, was established in Oxford over 225 years ago and his great grandfather purchased the family farm in 1922 to supply the business with beef and lamb. Whilst Simon is not directly involved in the butchery business which is now run by one of his cousins, he occasionally advises on property matters.

Simon was educated at St. Edwards School, Oxford and worked his practical year with Adkin before attending the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester where he obtained a Diploma in Rural Estate Management. Simon returned to Adkin in 1988 and trained under Tom Chamberlain (past President), Philip Pocock (past Chairman of Executive) and Julian Sayers. He qualified as a Chartered Surveyor in 1991 and was elected a Fellow of the CAAV in 1992. He has been with the company ever since becoming a director and shareholder in 1997.

Simon is a RICS Registered Valuer and acts as an Expert Witness. His specialist areas of work include planning & development covering promotion agreements and options, corporate & private client valuations and a wide range of other professional services. Simon is also closely involved in his own family property business incorporating farming interests, residential lets and a multi-tenanted office park. He has now been advising clients across Southern England and further afield for some thirty years.

He has been a member of the Berks & Oxon Rural Valuers Association Committee for many years and was Chairman in 1999, he was an examiner for Southern Group for ten years becoming chief examiner in 2007 and has been a member of the Education & Examination Committee since 2007, serving as its Chairman since 2009 until recently. He has been on Council since 2004, serves on the Future Skills Group and was elected to the Executive Committee in 2019.

Simon has been married to Sarah for 28 years and has three children, Hannah, William and Arthur. Hannah is a qualified Chartered Surveyor working for British Land in London. William is also training to become a commercial surveyor with Cushman & Wakefield in London whilst Arthur is at the University of Exeter reading Engineering.

When not working, Simon runs a game shoot on the family farm, spends much of his time gardening and is most often found on a ride-on mower. He also spends time maintaining his classic 1953 MGTD.