Suffolk Show stalwart Dennis Dyball dies at age of 91

Dennis Dyball, photographed in 2003.

Dennis Dyball, photographed in 2003.

Suffolk farmer Dennis Dyball, a former president of the Suffolk Agricultural Association and former chairman of Mid Suffolk District Council, has died at the age of 91.

Born in Oxborough, Norfolk, he moved to Willow Farm, Elmswell, at the age of five and was educated at Elmswell and Culford Schools. As a child he delivered milk from the family herd around the village and during the Second World War served in the Home Guard.

Following the death of his parents he inherited a smallholding and, over the next 60 years, developed it into a farm of around 650 acres, shedding his dairy and then his beef herds to focus on arable.

Mr Dyball was a director of the Suffolk Agricultural Association from 1970 until 2004, playing an integral part in growing the Suffolk Show.

As chairman of the association from 1980 to 1990, he showed a number of royal visitors around the show including Princess Diana, Princess Anne, Princess Margaret and the Duke of Edinburgh. He subsequently became president of the association for the 2003 show.

Mr Dyball served for many years on Elmswell Parish Council and was the first chairman of Mid Suffolk council following its formation as part of the reorganisation of local government in 1974.

He served on Mid Suffolk council as an Independent councillor and was chairman of the authority from 1973 (the new council initially operating on a “shadow” basis) until 1991.

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A keen sportsman, Mr Dyball played hockey, cricket and, later, golf, captaining Stowmarket Golf Club in 1978.

He was president of Elmswell Cricket Club for many years and continued as president of Elmswell Rifle club until his death.

He loved salmon fishing and was a keen supporter of the Suffolk Hunt and all countryside pursuits. In later life he became interested in horse racing, breeding and bringing on horses at his farm for the The Dyball Partnership and securing more than 30 wins.

Mr Dyball died on October 5 at Stowlangtoft Hall following a short stay in hospital. He is survived by his wife Angela, his four children from his first marriage to Anne, and his 10 grandchildren. His funeral will be held 4pm on October 20 at Bury St Edmunds Crematorium.