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Tributes to top Bridge player

PUBLISHED: 08:34 11 June 2010 | UPDATED: 18:00 30 June 2010

TRIBUTES have been paid to the "genteel" former owner of a Martham Chrysanthemum farm, who became a popular figure in the Great Yarmouth borough.

Gordon Bailey, of Caystreward, Yarmouth ran the UK's third largest Chrysanthemum farm, but became well-known in the Yarmouth through his involvement with organisations, such as the Yarmouth Lions Club, the Freemasons and Yarmouth Rotary Club.

TRIBUTES have been paid to the “genteel” former owner of a Martham Chrysanthemum farm, who became a popular figure in the Great Yarmouth borough.

Gordon Bailey, of Caystreward, Yarmouth ran the UK's third largest Chrysanthemum farm, but became well-known in the Yarmouth through his involvement with organisations, such as the Yarmouth Lions Club, the Freemasons and Yarmouth Rotary Club.

He was also a dab hand at cards and became a bridge instructor through his involvement with the National Bridge Association.

Mr Bailey died aged 78 at the James Paget University Hospital on Monday after battling cancer.

His son David Bailey, 56, said: “He was a very kindly man. He was quite strong. I think people had a high respect for dad. He was a very diplomatic, very genteel man but very firm and I think generally people have a high respect for him as a person and what he had done over the years and the organisations he belonged to.”

Mr Bailey and his brothers Arthur and Norman took over the family business G A Bailey Ltd in 1952.

Their mother Lilian Bailey had started the Chrysanthemum farm, which also grew vegetables including cucumbers, during the 1930s and it was one of few farms in the country to grow Chrysanthemums during the war years when the priority was growing fruit and vegetables.

Following the war, the business, based initially at Sutfield House in Martham, expanded to employ between 100 and 150 staff and opened new premises at Rectory Farm in Martham and Station Nurseries in Catfield.

At one time, the firm's produce was being supplied to Sainsbury's, Tesco and Morrisons.

The company was sold after Gordon Bailey retired during the late 90s.

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