Tributes paid to a pillar of Norfolk’s country life

Stephen Vincent at Wramplingham Hall. Picture: via family of Stephen Vincent

Stephen Vincent at Wramplingham Hall. Picture: via family of Stephen Vincent - Credit: Archant

He was a shining example of kindness, consideration and fortitude - a man of honour and humour with a gleam in his eye and warmth in his heart.

Stephen Vincent with Margaret Thatcher at Wramplingham Hall in 1990. From left, his daughters Rosaly

Stephen Vincent with Margaret Thatcher at Wramplingham Hall in 1990. From left, his daughters Rosalyn and Heather, wife Dorothy and granddaughter Hannah. Picture: via family of Stephen Vincent - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been paid to Stephen Vincent, of Wramplingham, who died on Saturday aged 92.

Mr Vincent was a duck farmer and pillar of the South Norfolk Conservative Association.

He was also renown for hosting the Wramplingham Horse Trials at his home, Wramplingham Hall, which drew thousands of spectators, top horse riders and even royalty.

His wife, Dorothy, said her husband was a dedicated, kind and loving man.

Stephen Vincent, centre, meets then prime minister John Major at Wramplingham Hall in the 1990s. Pic

Stephen Vincent, centre, meets then prime minister John Major at Wramplingham Hall in the 1990s. Picture: via family of Stephen Vincent - Credit: Archant


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She said: 'He would help people from every walk of life and he was very generous.

'If he was ill he was like a caged lion because he always wanted to do something and get on.'

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The couple had two daughters, Rosalyn and Heather, two grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter.

Mrs Vincent said: 'He was a great one for living life to the full.'

Stephen Vincent and his wife, Dorothy, at Buckenham Palace for the presentation of his OBE. Picture:

Stephen Vincent and his wife, Dorothy, at Buckenham Palace for the presentation of his OBE. Picture: via family of Stephen Vincent - Credit: Archant

Born in Hingham in 1924, Mr Vincent took over his father-in-law's business, HC Beales, and farmed ducks under the brand name of Elnum Ducklings.

He was a chairman of the British Poultry Federation, and also designed a feathering machine, which helped turn ducks' down into pillows.

Mr Vincent's hobbies – when he made time for them – included fishing and shooting.

He was made an OBE in 1985.

The horse trials, involving dressage and endurance were held for 12 years until 1987 when the event was moved to Sandringham.

There were also three-day cross-country horse driving events, which were held at Wramplingham for two or three years before moving to Sandringham.

But Mr Vincent continued to organise the event for Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

He was also involved in the South Norfolk Pony Club and the Dunston Harriers hunting club, and held many events for them over the years.

A date has not yet been set for Mr Vincent's funeral service.

Events were 'beautifully Norfolk'

Stephen Vincent was a tireless servant of the Conservative party, and held roles including treasurer, chairman and trustee of the South Norfolk Conservative Association.

Lord John MacGregor of Pulham Market knew Mr Vincent since 1974, when Lord MacGregor stood as a parlimentary candidate for the seat of South Norfolk.

He said: 'He was a great help and support.

'He had a lovely home and he entertained for charities and all kinds of other things.

'He was very hardworking, and was a tremendous figure in Norfolk in all sorts of ways.'

Lord MacGregor added that Mr Vincent's horse trial events were 'beautifully Norfolk' and a credit to the county.

He said: 'He was a great personal friend and a really lovely person.'

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