Obituary: Family pay tribute to the 'Industrial Gardener'

A 'wicked' sense of humour: Vincent Hambelton was known for having a cheeky side to him

A 'wicked' sense of humour: Vincent Hambelton was known for having a cheeky side to him - Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

The family of a beloved gardener who died "before he could enjoy the spring” has paid tribute to the 47-year-old. 

Vincent Hambelton spent his life nurturing his passion for the outdoors by bringing flora to life and nurturing the subsequent results. 

A loving father with a notoriously cheeky sense of humour, he will be remembered for his dedication to both his work and his family. 

Special memories: Vincent Hambelton sharing a special moment with his son when he was a young boy

Special memories: Vincent Hambelton shares a special moment with his son when he was a young boy - Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Vincent Ronald Hambelton was born in Morley St Peter, between Attleborough and Wymondham, on August 30, 1974. 

He attended Morley St Peter Primary School, Wymondham High School, and Attleborough High School, now academy, before exploring his passion for gardening, his sister Catherine explained. 

She said: “He loved the garden at home and he was comfortable in that environment, especially as our family had a smallholding – it's where his love of gardening began.”

Mr Hambelton landed his first job at Ashwellthorpe’s garden centre, followed by a placement with placement at Pettitts Animal Adventure Park in Reedham, between Loddon and Great Yarmouth, via Easton College. 

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This was a “real turning point” in his life, said his sister. 

She continued: “He really settled in with the people there. 

“He was always an introvert and quiet-natured – enjoying a simple life – but college is where he really began to blossom.” 

A lovely smile: Vincent Hambelton picture without his famous moustache

A lovely smile: Vincent Hambelton picture without his famous moustache - Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

After a time working at Pickenham Hall near Swaffham, he moved to Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire, and worked in verge way manipulation. Then aged 25, he secured a job at Elveden Estate, Suffolk, where he became His Lordship's gardener - a role he devoted himself to for 15 years. 

In a natural progression, he moved to a different arm of the estate, to Elveden Instant Hedges, and tended to hedges grown and matured at the Estate's field nurseries - some of which were sent to various horseracing courses and the Chelsea Garden Show. 

In 2019, Mr Hambelton found symptoms of his previous mental health issues were exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and he moved back home. With help from his late father, John Hambelton, he set up The Industrial Gardener. Described as “an industrious individual” the family agreed it was an apt business name. 

Mr Hambelton died in his sleep unexpectedly on February 25. He leaves behind partner Lou, children Johnathon and Becca, mother Judy, sisters Alison and Catherine, and brother, Tim.  

His funeral was on March 30. Donations in his memory for gardening charity Thrive via www.rosedalefuneralhome.co.uk  

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