Denton a village in South Norfolk, England

Edwin,"Eddie", Winter - 1930 - 2023

From the Parish News – November 2023.

Eddie was a perfect example of the village farmer. A born stockman, he worked happily and successfully in the village he loved for almost 70 years. Surprisingly, he was neither brought up in Denton nor on a farm.

Eddie’s family lived in Ilford, where his father was church organist and choir master, and later on a smallholding in Wales. Eddie’s two lifelong passions were nurtured in these early years.

At high school Eddie excelled in rugby and music, especially singing. He considered a career in music, but chose to go into agriculture, keeping music as a leisure interest. And what an interest it was. He sang in church choirs, choral societies, pantomimes and family celebrations. He loved all kinds of music, jazz, classical and popular, both performing and arranging numerous fundraising concerts.

Fundraising and community service were a huge part of Eddie’s life. He was a leading supporter of Christian Aid, organising an annual quiz for many years – including the recent one. As trustee and governor, he was instrumental in keeping the local primary school open by helping to start a pre-school on the site. He sat on the boards of local charities, served for more than 40 years on the parish council and was a tireless supporter of the church. He loved the chapel building, where he could frequently be found weeding the gravel, and it is largely due to his efforts that it has a new roof.

We all know how much Eddie liked to have fun! He loved spending time with family and friends, always with a big smile on his face. Friday night at the bar; pantomime rehearsals; singing; dancing at a ceilidh or disco; pressing cyder; playing beetle; coffee mornings; meals at the hall. If there was anything going on in the village Eddie would be there. And he was adventurous, too. As a young man he went skiing and at over 80 he went snorkelling for the first time. We have it on good authority that, at the age of 90, Eddie’s preferred method of entry into the swimming pool was a dive into the deep end. He enjoyed travel with his family, including Australia, Malta and the United States, even taking a trip on the QE II with Audrey.

Eddie began his agricultural career as a farmhand, straight from school. In 1949, at the tender age of 19, he and an older friend took on a tenancy in Hertfordshire, making a great success of their dairy and arable enterprises. Eddie learned a lot in those years, and in 1957 he bought Darrow Green Farm and started a new life in Denton. In 1959 he married Audrey Brooks, who was brought up in Denton and on a farm! Simon was born in 1960 and, both loving children as they did, they hoped for more. Sadly, they lost 4 children over the next few years but completed their family with the adoption of Sharon, Louise and Christopher. A great family man, Eddie was so proud of all his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Together, Eddie and Audrey built up the farm, always focusing on quality. They had a dairy herd for many years, kept chickens and, of course, reared turkeys for the Christmas market. More recently, farming with Simon and now granddaughter Emily, pedigree Lincoln Red cattle have appeared around the village. Officially retired, Eddie continued to do the farm paperwork and could be spotted shovelling mud off the road after maize harvesting.

We all thought Eddie would go on forever. He beat cancer 4 times, fell off a barn roof, got crushed by a bull, crashed his car into a ditch and, more recently, fell down the stairs and broke his ankle. However, all good things must come to an end, and Eddie met his on the day after his 93rd birthday. With the grace and dignity we had come to expect of him, his final words were full of love and gratitude for his family, his friends and a life well lived.

Thank you, Eddie, for being you.

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