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Tributes to gentle giant of the Broads

PUBLISHED: 09:52 11 April 2020 | UPDATED: 09:52 11 April 2020

Edgar Hoddy worked at the Broads Authority for 17 years. Picture: Broads Authority

Edgar Hoddy worked at the Broads Authority for 17 years. Picture: Broads Authority

Archant

Tributes have been paid to a “gentle giant” with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Norfolk countryside, who spent many years as a countryside ranger.

Edgar Hoddy was born and bred in Norfolk, and lived in Ashby St Mary. Picture: Broads AuthorityEdgar Hoddy was born and bred in Norfolk, and lived in Ashby St Mary. Picture: Broads Authority

Edgar Hoddy was born and bred in Norfolk and lived in Ashby St Mary for the duration of his life.

He went to school in Loddon before joining the family business, Hoddy Brothers Farm, at the age of 14, and worked all over East Anglia.

In 2002, Mr Hoddy volunteered with the Broads Authority for three months and was soon offered a job as a countryside ranger, a position he held for 17 years until his retirement.

A much-loved employee at the Broads Authority, where he largely worked on patrol boats, Mr Hoddy was famed for dressing as Santa Claus every Christmas throughout his career.

Edgar Hoddy was a farmer his whole life and loved the Norfolk countryside. Picture: Broads AuthorityEdgar Hoddy was a farmer his whole life and loved the Norfolk countryside. Picture: Broads Authority

John Packman, chief executive of the Broads Authority, said: “Edgar was a huge personality within the ranger team. He was well known for the ‘Edgar lean’, propping himself against a gate or fence at Whitlingham Country Park whilst he regaled tales and anecdotes of his time in the Broads, especially his daring rescues. He will be greatly missed by many in the Broads.”

Mr Hoddy, who was known as a fantastic teacher, ran a forestry school for disadvantaged children at Whitlingham, where lessons, which focussed on basic skills for adult life, included woodwork, tree felling and bow-making.

Outside of work, Mr Hoddy was a captain for a local darts teams and enjoyed long family drives in the countryside, which he knew like the back of his hand, accompanied with binoculars for wildlife-watching.

He was married to Lesley Hoddy, who passed away four years ago, for 29 years, and had a daughter, Lucy, and a stepson, Andrew.

Lucy Hoddy said: “He was a wonderful and devoted father and I could ask him for guidance on anything and he was so proud of anything I achieved. Everyone adored him in the community and every time he went to a pub everyone would try and buy him a drink. He was a gentle giant and the most generous and kind person I have met.”

Mr Hoddy passed away in hospital this month after suffering from health problems, at the age of 64.

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