David Kent

Friends, colleagues and customers across the whole farming community in Norfolk and Suffolk have saddened by the death of agricultural banker, David Kent, who has died aged 51.

Friends, colleagues and customers across the whole farming community in Norfolk and Suffolk have saddened by the death of agricultural banker, David Kent, who has died aged 51.

For almost 15 years, Mr Kent was the quiet presence of the Midland Bank, later HSBC, as the agricultural manager for Norfolk, before taking early retirement on health grounds three years ago.

His death from cancer also came as a shock and a surprise to a wide circle of friends and acquaintances, who did not know of the severity of his illness. Even very recently, his banking colleagues at the HSBC, often received inquiries about their former agricultural manager.

He was very popular and a greater supporter of the agricultural industry, often quietly attending events and meetings. David Lawrence, principal of Easton College, echoed a common sentiment. “He was a really great supporter of the college and played a key role behind the scenes in supporting our appeal. He knew how to oil the wheels and get things done.”


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Ken Leggett, former county secretary to Norfolk National Farmers' Union, said that Mr Kent supported many educational efforts and initatives. When the Norfolk Farm Education Link, which had been launched in 1984 to encourage more understanding between schools and food production, needed financial backing, Mr Kent was there. And, recalled Mr Leggett, he backed the schools' challenge initiative to set real tasks for groups of youngsters to tackle. “He always made sure that there was a banking question or challenge,” he added.

Mr Kent, who came from a background in irrigation, was deservedly popular and widely respected and especially his farming customers. Breckland farmer, Neville Kemp, of East Harling, said that the industry had lost a great friend, who was hugely regarded across all sections of agriculture and horticulture.

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John Purling, chief executive of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association, appreciated the support of his bank for the Royal Norfolk Show and many other events. “He was a thoroughly nice man and he will be much missed,” he added.

He leaves a widow, Roni.

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