A ‘WIDELY known and highly respected’ Shoreham gardening-enthusiast died at the weekend.
Fred Hill, 82, was a regular competitor in both Shoreham Horticultural Society shows and Southwick Horticultural Society shows.
He leaves behind two sons, six grand children and six great-grand children and his wife Valerie.
Valerie Hill, of Middle Road, Shoreham, met her husband in Swiss Cottage 61 years ago.
She said: “He was in the Navy when we met and I was a shop assistant. We actually argued at first, we were at a party and he shouted at me and I shouted back ‘don’t you shout at me’. But after that we got on like a house on fire. We were soul-mates.”
Fred was born in Newhaven in 1931 and moved to Shoreham when he was three years old, Valerie described him as a ‘real Shoreham boy’.
Valerie added: “He loved the little ones, he was always trying to get them interested in gardening and recently it has worked as some of them have come round to the idea of it.
“He was a lovely, friendly man and made a friend of everyone. He was always cheerful and loved his family.”
He worked as a milkman in Shoreham for 24 years and is said to have found it hard work but did enjoy it in the summer months.
Fred was green-fingered by nature and ‘loved gardening’. He was chairman of the Shoreham Horticultural Society for 10 years.
Peter Berry, president of Southwick Horticultural Society, said: “He was a dear friend who was greatly respected, liked and loved.
He was widely known and highly respected.”
Peter said he was a great help to people on the allotment scene.
Barry Hillman, president of Shoreham Horticultural Society, said: “I’ve known him for many, many years, he was the allotment secretary, the chair and he did a lot of judging at flower shows. He was very experienced in growing his own veg and dahlias, which were a passion for him. He is going to be sorely missed.”
Barry added: “Fred was a quiet man, very helpful when people asked questions, gave constructive advice and was a real mentor in many ways. He was a great asset to the society for so many years.”
Fred most recently made an appearance in the pages of the Shoreham Herald while judging the vegetable section of the Southwick Horticultural Society show in August.
Daphne Thomas, secretary at Shoreham Horticultural Society, said: “He was mainly a friend of my husband and he knew him prior to gardening. Fred was an avid gardener and read as many books as he could on the subject, he became a cult figure down at the allotments for solving problems.
“He eventually turned his interest to growing dahlias which he loved. He was a very good mate, fun, he had his principles and liked a good joke and a social evening, he really loved being surrounded by his family. He often would call me up and come over in the afternoon for tea and we would chit-chat. He was a very brave man and had one or two personal aliments which he fought and got over, he was an all-round good guy.”