A dedicated promoter of Norfolk’s food and drink and a former Aylsham Show president, Jacinth Rogers, has died aged 81.

Elected in 2003, she completed a first husband-and-wife presidential “double” in the 75-year history of the Aylsham Agricultural Show Association. Her late husband, Michael had been president in 1989.

Never one to sit on her laurels, she threw herself into the promotion of Norfolk’s food and drink.

As the first chairman of the association’s food and drinks awards committee, she launched the Food Heroes competition in 2007, which has become a major feature of the August Bank Holiday Monday show.

Speaking in 2016, she said: “These awards are an opportunity for those people who work extremely hard and with a great level of passion to be rewarded by public recognition.”

She helped with the Aylsham Show’s Festival of Food and Drink, which was started by another former president, the late David Manning, in 1996. This was a great success, attracting as many as 7,000 visitors to Blickling, and ran for several years.

She was born in Sussex, where her father was serving after being evacuated from Dunkirk, and she lived there for five or six years. When her father was posted by the army to Austria after the war, she rapidly became fluent in German.

Returning to England, she became a secretary in Bradford but then moved to London and worked for the National Trust, where she met her husband.

After he had been promoted as regional agent for the National Trust’s properties in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire in 1978, they initially moved to Aylsham, while she was also involved in publicity for the trust. He later became the trust’s chief agent for all its properties, including the Blicking estate, until his retirement in 1986 after 32 years of service.

Invited to steward at the Aylsham Show, she was later chief steward of the horse rings. She successfully introduced dressage classes and encouraged showjumping classes to be held on the eve of the show.

A countrywoman at heart, horses and hounds were a key interest. As secretary to the Norfolk Beagles Hound Club for more than 20 years, she had an encyclopaedic knowledge of packs around the country.

She was also a former secretary to the North Norfolk Harriers. When the Norfolk beagles were sold in the mid-1990s and went to Italy, she was instrumental in encouraging packs to visit Norfolk.

She became chairman of the Norfolk Beagles Hound Club in May 2018. At the Peterborough Hound Show two months later, she was presented with a national award by the Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles for her outstanding contribution.

A keen gardener, she enjoyed riding and kept a series of horses. She was clerk to her local parish council at Oulton for many years.

Married for 52 years, she is survived by a sister, a stepson and two stepdaughters. She died on Monday, January 15. A private funeral service will be held on March 1.

Eastern Daily Press:  Jacinth Rogers pictured during her year as president of the Aylsham Show in 2003 Jacinth Rogers pictured during her year as president of the Aylsham Show in 2003 (Image: Newsquest)