Tributes have been paid to a former poultry farmer who was known affectionately as ‘Chicken George’ following his death at the age of 83.
George Cramphorn, who built up a successful agricultural business at Marylands Farm, off the A606 near Pickwell, passed away on Bank Holiday Monday August 26 after suffering in his later years from Leukaemia and dementia.
At its height, his poultry business had 76,000 birds and at one stage he was also well known as a pig farmer and was a regular visitor to Melton Livestock Market.
His family say he retained his unique sense of humour and fun personality even when his health issues worsened towards the end of his life.
Son Rob, who also works in the family business, said: “If you think of Delboy, off Only Fools and Horses, that was dad.
“He was happy-go-lucky and always having a laugh with people.
“He became known as Chicken George because of his poultry and I remember when the old Chicken George restaurant opened in Melton a few years back some people thought he was involved in that.”
George was born in India in 1936 while his father, Charles, was running a tea plantation there.
The family came back to the UK when George was a teeenager, initially to live in Scotland, and he went on to take an apprenticeship in engineering at the old Ford plant in Dagenham, east London.
His father had moved to Scalford and he joined him in living in the Melton area in the early 1960s after he bought land where the farm now is and set up a poultry farm.
He married Joan, who everyone knew as Mary, and the couple had two sons, Rob and Adrian, two daughters, Helen and Lynda, and he went on to enjoy seven grandchildren - Chris, Hayden, Charlotte, Georgina, Thomas, Emma and Rebecca - and two great-grandchildren, Eva and Millie.
His sons helped build the family firm by cleaning out poultry sheds and then working for other local farmers as agricultural contractors.
Tragically, Adrian was killed in a tractor accident in Rutland 15 years ago.
George and Joan separated in the late 1970s and divorced and he then spent many happy years from the early 1980s with a new partner, Pat, before her death in 2016.
The couple bought a motorhome and travelled throughout the UK in it and they also had a property in the Indian city of Goa, where they lived for six months of the year when temperatures dropped over here.
Rob added: “Dad retired from the business eventually but he didn’t really retire.
“He lived in a bungalow at Leesthorpe and was up here on the farm every day.
“It was just green fields and a track when he bought the land and he was proud of the way he built the business up from nothing.”
A funeral service for George will be at Grantham Crematorium at 10.30am on Monday, followed by a celebration of his life at Pickwell Church at 11.45am.
Family flowers only are requested with any donation to be made to the Dementia UK charity.