Fred Brand, a key figure in the family firm at Whaplode Drove that bore his name, has died, aged 91.
Fred’s funeral is due to be held at St John the Baptist Church in the village on Monday (1.30pm).
Born on the day his own father began the business that was to grow into W H Brand, Fred went on to take over the company.
First though he excelled in Speedway – something he got involved in to raise enough money to build new premises.
He became all-time top scorer and captain for Yarmouth. Chosen to ride for Great Britain, Fred was transferred to Norwich in 1953 and qualified for the Speedway World Final in 1954.
By 1956 he was able to build a new garage, and his growing family gradually became involved in the enterprise.
His son Martyn is now Dealer Principal and Martyn’s son Adam is sales manager.
Fred leaves a wife Alfreda, and two other children, Adrian and Lorraine, Adam’s sister Sarah and her children Reece and Callum, as well as Adrian’s children Craig and Lauren.
Adam said his grandfather, who lived opposite the garage, wasn’t able to visit the business in his final weeks and months as his mobility lessened, but up until recently Fred had been a regular presence.
Adam said: “He kept a keen interest in the business. With him being involved and me getting involved even before I left school – I used to come and work in the holidays – I have probably seen my grandfather a lot more often than many people see theirs.
“I saw him more days of my life than not, so he was obviously a big part of all our lives, especially with him living so close. We are going to miss him a lot.”
Fred’s 90th birthday – and the 90th anniversary of W H Brand – was marked at the garage last year when family and friends gathered to celebrate the two events.