David was the person I noticed at the first BLSA meeting I attended, he had a distinctive voice that commanded attention, you knew you wanted to hear, an opinion worthy of your time, an opinion to mull over. David knew his mind and stood his ground, sometimes against the common view, he had conviction.
He was involved over the decades in many horticultural bodies especially those dealing with science and development. The annual mileage he covered was prodigious. His role of science and the importance it must play in horticulture was striking; he had the enthusiasm of a newly qualified graduate, not what you might expect of a long time practical Lincolnshire farmer. It was this importance of science that he took into his recent role of chairmanship of the Potato Council. It was his view that horticulture needed a distinctive voice that resulted in the expansion of the British Growers role to become that voice.
All members felt his support and personal attention. If you left a message on the answer phone you knew it would be answered; he replied to one of my messages just the evening before his operation, few would have under the circumstances. The one word that friends quote is “support”. He did not move from one role to another and leave people behind.
JEPCO have been members of the BLSA and the British Iceberg Growers Association for 20 years. He took over chairmanship part way through 2004 and in spite of saying he would serve 3 years he stayed for 5 years; the association prospered under his lead and undertook a public relations role that evolved later under John Allan into the promotional campaign Make More of Salads campaign.
David applied his personal gifts to the benefit of numerous individuals and to the advantage of everybody.
Colin Bloomfield, BLSA Chairman, 17th December 2013
I attended David’s funeral at Gedney on Dec 30th . It was a very joyful service attended by a very large congregation of friends and the horticultural /potato industry .