Tribute paid to poultry producer who combined friendliness and entrepreneurial spirit
- Credit: Archant
Tribute has been paid to a well-loved farming stalwart who has died at the age of 64.
Arthur Diaper, a director of Diaper Poultry in Stowmarket, became involved in the family business at a young age, along with his two brothers, John and David.
Born at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, he was the second of Jack and Mary Diaper’s three sons. He went to Culford School where he was head boy, and was a keen traveller, heading overseas before and after attending college in London for two years to study business.
After college, he returned home to start his career in the family poultry business at Haughley New Street in 1972. He married Moira in 1979 and they had two sons, James in 1982 and Oliver in 1984.
In the course of his life, Arthur travelled widely, visiting Iraq, Afghanistan, and many countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and America. “He was never afraid to try new things, he took up skiing and sailing in his late forties and thoroughly enjoyed the annual trips he went on with his friends,” said son, Oliver.
Arthur ran the factory side of the business initially and then moved on to running the family farms. Throughout his life he was a staunch supporter of and an active member of the poultry community, travelling in Eastern Europe, south east Asia and north America with industry colleagues. He served on the committee for the Poultry Advisers Association (East Anglia) and was chairman of the Suffolk Poultry Discussion Group.
Arthur was also an active member in the local community, chairing at various times Badwell Ash parish council, Stowmarket Round Table, Busted Investment Group, an invitation-only investment group for local business people in Suffolk, and Long Thurlow Neighbourhood Watch group. He was vice president of Stowmarket Rugby Club, and president of the Old Culfordians Association. “He was always the last to leave as he felt that there was always somebody to talk to,” said Oliver.
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“He was so interested in what people of all ages had to say and was the first to put his hand out to shake someone’s hand.”
James added: “Growing up, Dad always took a keen interest in what we were doing. But not just with us, but with our friends too. He would encourage our friends to come over, whether they were from London/uni or school friends, would always remember their names and what they do even though he may of only met them on one occasion.
“He always listened to what you had to say with interest and offered solid advice in return.”
In 2011, Arthur set up a new company, Jackson meats, a wholesale meat business which continues to supply high quality meats to local businesses.
“He had an entrepreneurial spirit and the family business was very important to him,” said Oliver. “He was just a lovely, generous, kind, warm person. He was a good listener. Because he was such an intelligent man, he was able to reciprocate with a really good conversation.”
As well as his widow, Moira, he leaves his two sons, James and Oliver, and grand-daughter Willow.
A memorial service will take place at 2pm on Friday, January 20, at St Mary’s Church, Bury St Edmunds.