‘Fantastic’ Southwold brewery engineer is remembered
Tributes have been paid to a former RAF pilot and talented Adnams brewery engineer who died just days before his 93rd birthday. Dennis Ball was a well-known figure in Southwold and the surrounding area.
He was chief engineer at Southwold's Adnams brewery and was also heavily involved with the local RNLI and the restoration of the Alfred Corry lifeboat.
The 92-year-old, who died on February 29, was also a former chairman of what is now the Southwold Harbour and River Blyth Users' Association.
He flew Sunderland flying boats for the RAF during the second world war and after the war he flew Vulcan bombers. Mr Ball left the RAF in the 1970s as a wing commander and joined Adnams as chief engineer.
Adnams chairman Jonathan Adnams said: 'He was a fantastic engineer and could make something out of nothing. That was his great love. My father took him on and he was responsible for rebuilding the brewery in the early 70s. That's when I joined the company.
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'Dennis was my boss for 10 years, I was an apprentice engineer. He also ran the transport fleet. He retired from the brewery when he was about 65 but he continued to do brewery tours for a number of years. He was quite a character and very popular.
'He was a remarkable man. I saw him before Christmas and he was on great form. He was very active for his age and even asked when he could come and see the new distillery.'
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Mr Ball, who enjoyed fishing, was deputy launching officer at Southwold lifeboat station between 1977 and 1987. He also supported the Alfred Corry Museum and played a central role in the lifeboat's restoration.
John Huggins, Southwold lifeboat operations manager, said: 'He was a terrific character and very, very clever. He could turn his hand to anything. If you needed something done then he was the man that you went to. He will be very sadly missed.'
Mr Ball leaves his wife, Eve, and two sons, Kevin and Dennis.