TRIBUTES have been paid to a well-known and highly respected farmer and member of the Fence community.
Roger Edward Rycroft (68) died earlier this month after suffering a major heart attack on April 1st at his home, Spencer House Farm in Wheatley Lane Road. He was taken to the Royal Blackburn Hospital where he died on April 3rd. His family have described him as “a kind and generous, loving husband and father” to wife Noreen and children Elizabeth, Catherine, Alison and Edward. His funeral was held at the Wheatley Lane Inghamite Church conducted by Matt Butler and saw 200 people turn out to pay their final respects to a man who was always cheerful. It was a big shock to the family as he had been remarkably healthy and had lived life to the full. He had recently decided to semi-retire and was looking forward to spending more time with his family and taking more holidays. Eldest daughter Elizabeth said: “We couldn’t have asked for a better dad and nobody had a bad word to say about him.” Mr Rycroft was the third generation of Rycrofts at the farm, who are one of the oldest farming families in the village having lived there for 100 years. Mr Rycroft was born at the farm to parents Edward and Phyllis, the youngest sibling to sisters June and Sheila. He was educated at Wheatley Lane School and later Barrowford Secondary before leaving aged 15 to work on the farm with his father. As a youngster he used to help rear hens and sell their eggs and was also a mechanical expert being able to build and sell radios and fix all types of machinery. He took over the farm when his father was taken ill and became one of the first farmers in the area to rear pedigree Friesian cattle and has won several awards over the years. His wife Noreen (66) said: “He was a lovely husband, kind and considerate who loved his life, his family and farming.” The couple were married in 1974 and were due to celebrate their 38th wedding anniversary last week.
Elizabeth added: “He went out on a high. He had just returned from the auction the Friday before he died and had been awarded another prize for one of his cows which he was so pleased about and was embarking on the life he had earned and deserved.” The family would like to thank everyone for paying their respects to Mr Rycroft and are grateful for all the love, care and affection shown to them. Thanks were also extended to Duncan at Holgates Funeral Service and to the Sparrow Hawk Inn. Donations were being received for the Critical Care Unit at Royal Blackburn Hospital and the British Heart Foundation through Holgates Funeral Services on 616788.