Daniel Burroughs: Last of a family of south Norfolk farmers

An era spanning three generations of farming in south Norfolk has ended with the death of Daniel Burroughs, who has died peacefully aged 81 at his Hempnall home.

He was the youngest of five brothers, who had lived on the arable and former dairy farm since his grandfather, also called Daniel, took the tenancy on the Morningthorpe estate in 1915. In the 1920s, Wood Farm was added to the tenancy.

Daniel Eric Burroughs was born at Grove Farm, Hempnall, as were his four older brothers, and went to Hempnall school.

During his life, he saw the horses replaced by tractors and the last, a mare, Hempnall Smartie, went in 1966.

In the post-war years, harvest was often back-breaking work as sheaves of corn were cut by binder and then loaded onto wagons and tumbrils. In 1946, the threshing team was paid a total of £6 per week in August and September to thrash the corn.


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The family started a dairy herd around the time that Daniel was born, shortly before the creation of the Milk Marketing Board in October 1933.

Then cows were milked by hand, and the milk delivered and sold around the nearby villages. Later, a milking machine was introduced but electricity did not arrive at the nearby Wood Farm until 1963.

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Over the years the dairy herd was expanded to about 100 cows before the introduction of milk quotas by Brussels in March 1984. The 80-strong Friesian dairy herd was dispersed in 1995.

Mr Burroughs was the lynchpin of the arable operations on the 314-acre tenanted farm – driving the tractor and combine harvester and also doing all the drilling.

His brothers, George, Stanley, Sidney, who was the last tenant, and Harry also worked on the farm.

The tenancy was relinquished and the deadstock, including machinery, was sold in March 1996, when Mr Burroughs retired.

A countryman at heart, he enjoying shooting and fishing and also following races, especially at Fakenham, Great Yarmouth and Newmarket.

In an active retirement, he also continued to look after the garden at the farm for a number of years.

Married for 58 years, he leaves a widow, Sheila, four children and six grandchildren.

A funeral service was held at St Margaret's Church, Hempnall, on Thursday, October 17.t

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