Sacrewell Farm and Country Centre closes for the day in memory of former manager David Powell

David Powell

David Powell

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A farm will be closed today (Friday) in memory of a former manager fondly known as “Mr Sacrewell” who has died aged 95.

David Powell died at his home at Sacrewell Farm and Country Centre on October 3.

Mr Powell was married to the niece of William Scott Abbott, in whose memory the William Scott Abbott Trust - which owns Sacrewell Farm - was founded.

Like his predecessor, Mr Powell was keen to promote farming and education.

After the trust was formed in 1964, it was Mr Powell who opened the Sacrewell Watermill to the public. He also started the first school tours of the farm, teaching children about where their food comes from.

David started his farming career in Yorkshire but moved to Sacrewell Farm in the 1950s where he stayed for the rest of his life.

He managed the farm during a prosperous time, earning himself the nickname “Mr Sacrewell”.

According to staff at the farm, it would not be what it is today without his hard work.

Mr Powell only stopped volunteering at events at the farm a few years ago.

In the past he had run traditional games stalls at the harvest festival, dressed up for halloween and even played the role of Santa.

Mr Powell was manager of the farm until 1982 when he retired and passed the reigns to Michael Armitage. Mr Powell was also the manager of the trust until he was in his late 80s.

Mr Armitage said that when he first took over the role as manager, Mr Powell graciously stepped aside and let him get on with things.

Mr Armitage said: “He continued to take a great interest in what was happening.

“He never interfered but was always there if I wanted him and occasionally he would ask to do a bit of ploughing.

The most outstanding thing about David was that he was so positive. Most farmers are very negative but he never was. He was a remarkable man.”

Mr Powell, a former Royal Marine Officer, was involved in many societies in Thornhaugh and Wansford, including as president of the Stibbington branch of the Royal British Legion. He also had an MBE to his name.