Former Suffolk Show president and community leader Dennis Dyball dies aged 91

Dennis Dyball pictured in a Land Rover with Princess Diana at the Suffolk Show in 1986 ANL-161010-113716001

Dennis Dyball pictured in a Land Rover with Princess Diana at the Suffolk Show in 1986 ANL-161010-113716001

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A former president of the Suffolk Show and community leader, who was a ‘man of the countryside’, has died aged 91.

As a long standing chairman of the Suffolk Agricultural Association, Dennis Dyball showed luminaries such as Princesses Diana, Anne and Margaret as well as the Duke of Edinburgh around the show.

Dennis Dyball at the Suffolk Show in 2014 ANL-161010-113901001

Dennis Dyball at the Suffolk Show in 2014 ANL-161010-113901001

A well known farmer and keen sportsman, he was the first chairman of the then newly created Mid Suffolk District Council on which he served as a councillor for 18 years.

His daughter Jane Dyball, of Pettaugh, said: “He was a man of the countryside and of country pursuits who loved the company of those who shared his passions, from all walks of life. He had an incredibly strong work ethic and was very modest about his own achievements.”

Mr Dyball was born in Oxborough, Norfolk, and moved to Willow Farm, in Elsmwell, aged five. He attended Elmswell and Culford Schools and, as a child, delivered milk from the family herd around the village. He served in the Home Guard towards the end of the Second World War and, following the death of his parents, inherited the smallholding. He developed it into a farm of some 650 acres over the next 60 years - shedding his milk and then beef herds to focus on arable.

He was chairman of the Agricultural Association between 1980 and 1990 - playing an integral part in growing the Suffolk Show and moving it to its permanent showground site at Trinity Park, Ipswich.

He was president of the show in 2003. On Mid Suffolk District Council, he stood as an independent councillor following many years’ service on Elmswell Parish Council.

As a hockey, cricket and golf enthusiast, he captained Stowmarket Golf Club in 1980 and was president of Elmswell Cricket Club for many years.

He continued as president of Elmswell Rifle Club until his death, loved salmon fishing and was a keen supporter of the Suffolk Hunt and all countryside pursuits.

In later life, Mr Dyball became interested in horse racing - breeding and bringing on horses at his farm for The Dyball Partnership and securing more than 30 wins.

He died on Wednesday, October 5 at Stowlangtoft Hall following a short stay in hospital. He is survived by his wife Angela, his four children from his first marriage to Anne and his 10 grandchildren. His funeral is at 4pm on October 20 at Bury Crematorium.