Respected auctioneer, farmer and countryman Jeffrey Bowles dies aged 73
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2009
Auctioneer, countryman and Waveney valley farmer Jeffrey Bowles, who headed one of the region’s longest-established firms of chartered surveyors, has died aged 73.
In a career spanning almost half a century he helped to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for charities wielding his gavel. He was a great supporter of farming’s charity, the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, and was auctioneer at its Royal Norfolk Show annual cocktail party from 1985.
He was senior partner during the 150th anniversary celebrations of Diss-based TW Gaze and Son in 2007 as the firm expanded its footprint further into Norfolk and Suffolk.
His formative years were spent on his grandfather’s tenanted farm on the Kimberley estate, near Wymondham. Norfolk-born, the middle of three children, he went to Yarmouth Grammar School and the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, gaining a diploma in rural estate management in 1969.
Admitted associate of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in 1971, he joined TW Gaze in 1974, becoming a partner in October 1978.
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A member of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers in 1976, he was a former president of the Norwich branch.
Known for his bright bow ties, he presided at the annual Diss show and sale of Christmas poultry and, of course, the traditional spring grazing marsh lettings.
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His expertise was greatly valued by the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association, which invited him to serve a three-year-term as trustee until 2014. Then he was elected an honorary vice-president.
A farmer at Rushall, he was proud to have been elected chairman of the South Norfolk branch of the National Farmers’ Union in 2004.
A countryman at heart, he was secretary to the Waveney Harriers point-to-point, clerk of the course and for many years was field master. He had a half share in a Maldon-built 26ft wooden Stella boat, which he sailed off the Suffolk coast.
A follower of Norwich City, and keen on cricket, when he retired in July 2009 he recalled that he had played on the pitch which later became TW Gaze’s saleground.
He leaves widow, Deirdre, and four children, Harry, Annie, Edward and Polly and a grandson. He is survived by an older brother, Christopher, and sister, Cathy.
A family funeral will be held.