Farming stalwarts who have given decades of service to the industry were recognised at a special ceremony at the Suffolk Show.

Among the recipients were a delighted Metfield pig farmer Peter Mortimer who notches up 60 years of work in the sector this year.

Also marking a huge work milestone were self-employed farmer Leslie Carr, of Mace Green Farm, Copdock, near Ipswich, and farm employee David Eady of Shimpling Park Farms near Bury St Edmunds - both of whom have also passed the 60-year milestone.

Peter - who was presented with a special award for outstanding services to agriculture in Suffolk - will be 77 later this year and remains an active pig farmer. 

He showed pigs for 50 years at the Suffolk Show from 1970 to 2019 and also sat on the Suffolk Agricultural Association council for a few years. He was "honoured" to receive the accolade, he said.

Leslie - who rents 110 acres of land which he still farms - wouldn't give his age but said he started out driving horses and tractors at the age of five or six before he went to school in Bures.

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The family later moved to Copdock. He was "very pleased" to receive the honour - which was presented by show president Bishop Martin Seeley. 

David, 75, said he started work for John Pawsey's grandfather, David Alston, at the age of 15. He spent two winters at Chadacre College and remained with the same family throughout his working life.

"I have enjoyed it very much but the first 30 were the better years. There was a lot more about and there wasn't the hi-tech. There were a lot more men about than now."

He follows in the family's footsteps in receiving the Long Service award. His grandfather George Eady (57 years' service) and father Bill Eady (52 years of service) were both recipients.

George received his award from the Queen Mother, while Bill received his from the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

 The bishop said handing out the awards enabled him to gain "further insight into the lives of those who work so hard, sometimes in challenging weather conditions and also at inconvenient times of the day and night throughout the year".

He thanked them for their dedication, hard work, patience and resilience in looking after the beautiful Suffolk landscape and animals.

Eight farmers received 50-year Long Service awards. They were Andrew Bearsted and Peter Boreham of Euston Farms, Nigel Creswell of AW Fane Farms, Kevin Kerridge of JE Baker & Son, Trevor King of J Youngman & Sons, David Cardy of Greys Hall Estates, David Mills of AC Tydeman & Sons and Colin Coombs of Tuckwells.

Matthew Bennington of Barton Place Farms, Philip Bowcher of David Hodge Farms, Barry Flack and Calvin Graham of Elveden Farms and Samantha Maloy of Euston Farms were awarded 30-year certificates.

Ian Foot and Paul Rowe of Limagrain UK, and Elizabeth Hornberger of Suffolk Young Farmers all notched up 31 years.

Andy Wing of British Sugar received a 32-year award, Simon Hughes of Barton Place Farms 38 years, Mark Balaam of Frederick Hiam, 39 years, Paul Osbourne of Barton Place Farms, 42 years, Andrew Branton and Reuben Rush of Thurlow Nunn Standen, 44 years and David Hunt, also of Thurlow Nunn 46 years.

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