Auctioneer and Norfolk farmer's film role remembered

One of Norfolk's leading auctioneers, land agents and farmer Hubert Sheringham, has died peacefully, aged 88.His firm handled the sale of the first farm in Norfolk to break the �100 an acre barrier, which stunned the farming community on September 20, 1958.

One of Norfolk's leading auctioneers, land agents and farmer Hubert Sheringham, has died peacefully, aged 88.

His firm handled the sale of the first farm in Norfolk to break the �100 an acre barrier, which stunned the farming community on September 20, 1958.

At the Royal Hotel, Norwich, Alan Barnard, now 81, paid �102 an acre or �7,150 for the 70-acre Carpenters Farm, Downham, near Wymondham. When he walked through the busy Saturday livestock market on the nearby Hill, the crowd went quiet.

Mr Sheringham, who was born into a farming family, then living at South Creake, near Fakenham, moved to Ingworth, near Aylsham, in 1928. He served with the Royal Air Force during the second world war in the Middle East, Persian Gulf, Sicily and Italy.


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In 1946, he joined Norwich chartered surveyors Irelands as a pupil and was a partner for 30 years. He was senior partner when the firm first opened an office in Aylsham in what became a network of seven offices across Norfolk.

A great supporter of the Aylsham Show, he twice served as president and was elected a life vice-president. He was a founder of the Aylsham Agricultural Show Association and was grand ring director for about 40 years. He was a long-serving head steward of hotel, catering and reception at the Royal Norfolk Show until he stood down in 1979.

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As well as managing estates, he was also a tenant of Erpingham Lodge Farm, near Aylsham, and then later bought Corbetts Lodge Farm, Necton, and Lings End Farm, Little Fransham.

As an auctioneer, Mr Sheringham sold everything from farms, houses and livestock to farm implements and antiques. With his sense of humour and great charm, he was in demand to conduct charity auctions.

His sense of decency and fairness commanded respect from the whole farming community. His knowledge of the industry was second to none and he was trusted, which earned him a reputation as a skilled arbitrator and valuer.

He was president of Norfolk Association of Agricultural Valuers and was elected honorary life member in 1986.

He had a brief brush with movie stardom in the Bafta-winning film, The Go-Between. While managing the Hanworth Hall estate, near Aylsham, where many scenes were shot, he grew a crop of oats to be grown to be cut by a binder. And when Tombland Horse Fair was restaged one Sunday morning in 1970, he was a natural to be cast as an auctioneer, announcing in his distinctive voice, the sale of a horse: "Property of a gentleman."

He enjoyed excellent health until the last few years, and in his working life, was hardly ever known to wear an overcoat. And one former colleague was told that he had seen a dentist once during the war, and then never again for the rest of his life.

He loved the outdoor life, shooting, fishing, golf, bowls, as well as playing bridge. A great supporter of charities, he was chairman of Ingworth Social Club and the Aldborough Community Bus. He also worked tirelessly for Ingworth Church as a churchwarden.

He recently celebrated his diamond wedding and leaves a widow, Jill, daughters, Sally and Janice, and son, James, who farms at Necton, and four granddaughters.

A memorial service will be held at St Lawrence Church, Ingworth, on Tuesday, February 2, 2pm.

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