Eric Burroughes: Norfolk grain merchant’s Dad’s Army connection

South Norfolk businessman and grain merchant Eric Burroughes, who has died peacefully at his Bressingham home aged 85, built up his family firm into a major player in the UK's malting barley market.

He also expanded the haulage arm, which had just six lorries, into a modern fleet of more than 100 bulk transporters in its heyday. Based at Bressingham, near Diss, he joined the family firm, H Burroughes & Son, after his two years' National Service in the Royal Air Force in 1948.

The firm expanded from 1965 when he took control. In 1984, he became chairman of the Allied Brewery Trades' Association, which represented around 600 firms.

He was Norfolk chairman of the UK Agricultural Supply Trade Association and chairman of the Norfolk branch of the Institute of Agricultural Merchants. However, the firm came unstuck in April 1992 and was to leave many in the agricultural sector with significant losses.

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Earlier, he had enjoyed show success with Burroprince, which won the Horse of the Year in 1986 and 1987. He had bought the foal with his first wife, Pauline, who died in 1989.

A chance encounter in the early 1970s led to involvement with showbusiness. His home, Walnut Tree Farm, near Bressingham, was the location for two Dad's Army episodes which were filmed in 1972.

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A member of the parochial church council for more than 30 years, he was also sexton at Bressingham. He is survived by his wife Diana. A funeral service will be held at Bressingham Church on Monday, at 1pm.

Michael Pollitt

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