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Frank Henry Easton

Frank Henry Easton

Male Abt 1907 - 1983  (~ 76 years)

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  • Name Frank Henry Easton 
    Born Abt 1907  Norwich, Norfolk Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Birth 10 Oct 1907  40 Cowgate, Norwich, Norfolk Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Residence 2 Apr 1911  38-40 Cowgate, Norwich, Norfolk Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Education 1918  City of Norwich School, Eaton Road, Norwich, Norfolk Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Occupation Magistrate, Politician 
    Residence 1924  Post Office and General Stores, 40 Cowgate, Norwich, Norfolk Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Occupation 1925 
    Farmer 
    Residence 1925  Low Common Farm, Bunwell, Norfolk Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Occupation 10 Oct 1929  [3
    Farmer 
    Residence 10 Oct 1929  Cowgate Farm, Bunwell, Norfolk Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Occupation 1933  [4
    Dairy Farmer 
    Residence 1933  Cowgate Farm, Bunwell, Norfolk Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    • Tel: Bunwell 201
    Residence 1936  Cowgate Farm, Bunwell, Norfolk Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Occupation 1937  [4
    Dairy Farmer, Poultry Farmer & Haulage contractor 
    Residence 1937  Cowgate Farm, Bunwell, Norfolk Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Residence 1938  Villa Farm, Bunwell, Norfolk Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Occupation 27 Jan 1951  [6
    Farmer 
    Residence 27 Jan 1951  The Villa, Bunwell, Norfolk Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Residence 17 Jul 1959  The Villa, Bunwell, Norfolk Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Residence 1964  The Bungalow, Bunwell, Norfolk Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Occupation 23 Nov 1983 
    Farmer/Haulage Contractor (Retired) 
    Died 23 Nov 1983  Norfolk & Norwich Hospital, Norwich, Norfolk Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    Age: 76y 
    Cause: 1 a Pulmonary Embolism, b Pristatic Venous Plexus Thrombosis ii Senile osteoporosis 
    Buried 29 Nov 1983  St Michael & All Angels, Bunwell, Norfolk Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    East Dereham, Norfolk
    East Dereham, Norfolk
    St Nicholas
    Notes 
    • Death Certified by James Hipwell, Coroner
      Informant: M Y Howes, daughter

      Unsuccessful Conservative candidate for parliament for North Norfolk in 1959 and 1963

      Text of article from Norfolk Fair magazine, December 1981
      From 15 acres and six cows to 1,000 acres and 110 cows - in sixty years
      Eastons of Bunwell began in 1925, when Frank Easton, then 18 years old, with the help of his parents bought a few acres of land and a wooden bungalow in Bunwell Low Common. He started farming with four cows. A Norwich boy whose parents kept the Post Office and General Stores at Cowgate [that's a street in Norwich], he learnt to farm by trial and error. The milk from his small her was taken in churns to Forncett Station by pony and trap, and sent by rail to Norwich. There it was collected by his father and taken to the shop in Cowgate for sale to the general public. From this small beginning the milk haulage business grew. A contract was obtained with the Norwich Co-Operative Society [a group of shops] to supply milk to them daily in Chapelfiled Road. This involved buying milk from the farmers in Bunwell and the surrounding parishes and transporting it to Norwich. As a pony and trap could not cope with the 17-gallon churns, in 1926 Frank Easton bought a Model-T Ford lorry [truck]. Further milk contracts followed, including one with the United Dairies in London; this involved return loads of groceries for delivery to NCS shops in the city.

      With the formation of the Milk Marketing Board [a government monopoly] changes came about, for all milk supplies were bought by them, and milk transport also came under their authority. Contracts were arranged between Eastons and the Board, and a good relationship was established. It continues to this day [1980].

      In 1930, Frank Easton married Yensie Clark, also from Norwich, though originally a Londoner. They started married life at a smallholding [a small farm] on Bunwell Low Common, which Frank called Cowgate, in memory of his Norwich origins.

      About this time, World's End Farm, Aslacton, became vacant, and Mr. Easton was able to rent it; this, with Bungalow Farm and Cowgate, was the nucleus of his farming enterprise. His herds of cows increased and he began to specialise in Aylesbury ducks and Rhode Island Red hens, as well as general farming. A milling business in Aslacton was also acquired, which still supplies local farmers with feedstuffs, grinds corn and mixes meal for the farm. This is run by Frank's eldest son, Richard.

      With the steady growth of the haulage business, bigger premises were needed and, in 1937, Villa Farm with the workshops and premises of the building firm of Eldon Smith attached, was purchased. This became the family home and in 1938 the firm of G. Easton & Son Ltd was formed. There was by then a fleet of eight vehicles, consisting of two AECs, a Leyland and five Albions (the present fleet consists entirely of Albions).

      At the beginning of the war, when South Norfolk became known as Little America, because of all the USAF bases in the area, the Easton lorries were used after their daily milk deliveries for the transport of bombs to the various airfields in the area. On one occasion, while delivering bombs to Broome Airfield, a lorry collided with a Flying Fortress which was being taxied to the runway; it knocked the plane's tail off. Fortunately, the lorry driver was not at fault otherwise the firm would have been faced with a hefty insurance claim. During the war, Mr. Frank Easton served on the war agricultural executive committee and Mrs Easton drove the Church Army canteen around the army camps and air bases.

      In return the Americans were very generous with gum and candy supplies for the younger members of the Easton family [that included Nana!], and they were always sure of a welcome at the Villa in their off duty times.

      At the end of the war the sale of skim milk for stock feed was started and has gradually increased. The firm now transports about one and a half million gallons a year, mainly for pig-feeding. In the early-1950s Banyards Hall Farm, and Tollgate Farm, Bunwell came on the market. These farms adjoined Villa Farm and, as there were now three sons in the family, Frank Easton felt that this was an opportunity to be seized. With the aid of a kindly bank manager, the Easton acreage increased.

      It was about this time that Morse's Nurseries, Norwich, were looking for land on which to grow their roses. Frank Easton arranged a lease with Mr Morse, which resulted in the planting of 150 acres of roses at Bunwell every year for ten years. This produced a "fantastic sight each summer" and the perfume spread over the whole village (Bunwell was even placed on the mystery coach tour route for the Mothers' Union and the Women's Institute).

      In 1955, Eastons had the opportunity to open a haulage depot in Lincolnshire. On Christmas Eve, Frank Easton and his two elder sons, Dick and John Easton set off for Alford to view the property. The depot was established and is flourishing to this day. [My cousin Andrew still runs it]

      In 1956, Dick and John were married, and the farming enterprise was formed into a limited company. As agriculture became more mechanised, the Suffolk horses, whihc had always worked the land, were to be disposed of and their place taken by tractors and combines.

      By 1957, the youngest of the three Easton sons, Peter, had worked for three years on the farms but found that his niche was the haulage company. This ws fortuitous as it meant that all three sons had their own enterprises to look after yet remained working together.

      In 1961, the first bulk tank for milk collection went on the road. Productivity increased, as a tanker could collect fifty per cent more milk than a churn vehicle. It made the job much easier for Easton's drivers; instead of lifting ten-gallon churns of milk, they had to connect up hose pipes to enable the milk to be pumped into the vehicle.The familiar rattles and clankings of the churns finally came to an end in 1977, by which time nearly all the milk collection in the county had been converted to bulk milk tanks. So the company found their flat milk lorries no longer had to be converted to carrying sugar beet after the milk run.

      In common with other farms in the county, F.H. Easton Ltd also had to install a bulk milk tank. By this time there were four herds of cows on four different farms; one at World's End, Aslacton, one at Villa Farm, Bunwell, one at Banyard's Hall Farm, Bunwell and one at White House Farm, Tacolneston, which Frank Easton had been farming in partnership with his uncle, Mr Harry Saunders. It was at this time that Mr, Saunders wanted to retire from farming, so Mr. Easton assumed his share of the farm. This seemed to them to be a suitable time to rationalise the dairy operations, and a new cowhouse, milking parlour and bulk tank were installed at Villa Farm. The farm herds were reduced to one and all dairy operations were removed to Villa Farm.

      In order to finance the purchase of White Lodge Farm, Carleton Rode, which adjoins Villa Farm, World's End Farm, Aslacton was sold and with the purchase of Old Hall Farm Tibenham, the farm totalled a thousand acres.

      In 1956, Frank Easton was adopted as Conservative parliamentary candidate for North Norfolk. As his three sons were all now working in the business, he felt able to devote more time to his public work. He had been very active in the rural district council and as an alderman on the highways committee of Norfolk County Council. He fought two elections in North Norfolk and reduced the Labour majority from 8,000 to less than 100. Another institution that demanded much of Mr. Easton's time was St. Andrew's Hospital. He was Chairman of the board of managers until the Eastern Region Health Authority was re-organised, and took a keen interest in the running and organisation of the hospital.

      And so in nearly sixty years, Easton's of Bunwell has grown from a 15-acre farm with six cows and a pony and cart for transport to a flourishing business with over a thousand acres, 110 cows, two herds of pigs and mixed arable crops, and a fleet of 31 vehicles, carting 23million gallons of milk, 20,000 tons of sugar beet, and corn.

      Frank Easton is no longer well enough to be active in the business which is now being run by his three sons in their various capacities of miller, farmer and haulier.
      ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ----
      Frank had the idea of turning dis-used railways into roads. See article from TImes of London copied under scrapbook. As my mother says, "One of the TV companies locally showed the opening on TV. He had a great struggle to get it as the railwaywanted to charge the Council a large sum until he pointed out to them that if the Council did not use it it would be handed back to the farmers for nothing!"
      ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ----
      1959 General Election Result
      E G Gooch (Labour) 19,784 votes
      F H Easton (Conservative) 19,126
      Majority: 658 (1.69%) Electorate: 48,756 => Turnout = 79.82%

      1963 General Election Result
      B Hazell (Labour) 19,360
      F H Easton (Conservative) 19,307
      Majority 53 (0.14%!) Electorate 48,488 => Turnout = 79.75%

      Death Notice in EDP 25 11 1983
      On November 23, at the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital, FRANK HENRY, of Bunwell, aged 76 years.......

      Article in EDP 25 Nov 1983
      Bunwell man, farmer, haulier, miller
      A Bunwell businessman, who twice stood as a prospective parliamentary Conservative candidate has died aged 76. Mr Frank Easton, of The Bungalow, lived in Norfolk all his life and built up three separate businesses - in farming, haulage and milling - as well as devoting much time to politics and local affairs. Born in Norwich and educated at the City of Norwich School, he bagan work by farming a smallholding in Bunwell.
      VOTES
      This he built up into a large business which is today 1,200 acress and managed by his sons. He also developoed a haulage business (G Easton & Son, registered in the name of his father, and the Aslacton Milling Company which his sons also continue. During the war, Mr Easton acted as a sub-district manager for the Ministry of Transport.
      Mr Easton was an active member of the South Norfolk Conservative Association and in 1956 was adopted as prospective candidate for North Norfolk. Although he was unsuccessful in the election three years later, he was re-adopted as a prospective candidate in 1964. In the subsequent election he lost the seat by only 53 votes.
      Mr Easton was an alderman on Norfolk County Council and chariman of the highways committee from 1954 until 1970. He resigned from Norfolk County Council in 1972 because of ill-health.
      He served on the old Depwade Rural District Council from 1934 until he lost his seat in 1971, spending 5 years from 1965 as its chairman.
      He spent 24 years on the management committee of St Andrew's Hospital where he was chairman for a while and 21 years on the management committtee of Little Plumstead Hospital where he was also the chariman for a while. He retired from these posts in 1970.
      He was chairman of Bunwell ParisH Council in 1964 and also chairman of Bunwell Village Hall Committee. Mr Easton was also a member of the Norfolk Executive of the National Farmers' Union, the executive of the Road Haulage Association and on the Joint Haulage Commiittee.
      He had also served as a magistrate and on the Tax Commissioners' Panel and River Board. A freemason, he was a member of St Giles Lodge in Norwich.
      HORSES
      He enjoyed breeding Suffolk horses and Rhole Island Red chickens and played golf and bowls.
      Mr Easton, married in 1929, leaves a widow, Yensie, four children, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
      Clerk to the old Depwade District Coiuncil for 19 years, Mr John Furnell, said of Mr Easton, "I alwaays found him easy to get on with during my time as clerk, and he was always willing to listen to the staff side of matters."
    Person ID I5556  ONS
    Last Modified 2 Nov 2014 

    Father George Easton,   b. Abt 1874, Cawston, Norfolk Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Apr 1939, Norwich, Norfolk Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 65 years) 
    Mother Minnie Saunders,   b. Abt 1874, Norwich, Norfolk Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Jul 1959, 21 Constitution Hill, Norwich, Norfolk Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 85 years) 
    Married 23 May 1904  St Lawrence, Norwich, Norfolk Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Witness 23 May 1904  [3
    Henry Saunders 
    Witness 23 May 1904  [3
    Louisa Saunders 
    Family ID F6369  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Yensie Mabel Clark,   b. Abt 1907, West Norwood, London Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 May 1989, Brooke House Nursing Home, Brooke, Norfolk Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 82 years) 
    Married 10 Oct 1929  Christ Church, Eaton, Norwich, Norfolk Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Witness 10 Oct 1929  [3
    Edgar Clark 
    Witness 10 Oct 1929  [3
    George Easton 
    Children 
    +1. Living
    +2. Richard Frank Easton,   b. 23 Oct 1931, Bunwell, Norfolk Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Mar 2016, Tacolneston, Norfolk Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 84 years)
    +3. John Edward Easton,   b. 25 Jul 1934, Bunwell, Norfolk Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2003  (Age 68 years)
    +4. Living
    Family ID F9453  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - Abt 1907 - Norwich, Norfolk Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBirth - 10 Oct 1907 - 40 Cowgate, Norwich, Norfolk Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsEducation - 1918 - City of Norwich School, Eaton Road, Norwich, Norfolk Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 10 Oct 1929 - Christ Church, Eaton, Norwich, Norfolk Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 27 Jan 1951 - The Villa, Bunwell, Norfolk Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 17 Jul 1959 - The Villa, Bunwell, Norfolk Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - Age: 76y - 23 Nov 1983 - Norfolk & Norwich Hospital, Norwich, Norfolk Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - 29 Nov 1983 - St Michael & All Angels, Bunwell, Norfolk Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos At least one living or private individual is linked to this item - Details withheld.

  • Sources 
    1. [S156] 1911 census - UK.

    2. [S11] Birth cert.

    3. [S50] Marriage cert.

    4. [S46] Kelly's Directory, 1904.

    5. [S72] Telephone book.

    6. [S217] Marriage record - daughter.

    7. [S25] Death cert - Mother.

    8. [S20] Death cert.

    9. [S30] Eastern Daily Press, 25 11 1983.