David Farmer obituary


Dave was a true Cockney, born in Whitechapel. He went to work for W J Bush in Ash Grove Hackney (later Bush Boake and Allen) in 1966 as a lowly Mineral Water Dept. Assistant but soon became actively involved in Flavour creation, working on customer projects.

He left BBA in 1970 and went to work at White Stevenson in London and it was about this time he joined the BSF as an Associate member. In 1976 Dave went to work for Bulmer’s in Hereford - he moved into sales because you got a car! but was soon to leave Bulmers and return to White Stevenson in Bletchley in 1978. It was during this time he became interested in Morris dancing and folk scene around MK, as well as sailing.

He left White Stevenson in 1982 having risen to Food Flavour Sales Manager, and went to work in Wellingborough for a short spell (1982/3) at Barnet and Foster, he was then head hunted by PFW in Perivale London.

Dave took part in the 1985 Fastnet race and in 1986 he became a quarter owner of a 30 footer called “Anonymous” that was moored at Lymington.

In 1986-87 he became associate member of BSF council and then Honorary treasurer from 1987 to 1990.

Dave changed jobs again in 1989 and went to work in Marlow for Haarmann and Reimer. He rose to division manager and spent some time living and working in Germany for the company.

Dave took up scuba diving in 1990. He grew increasingly disillusioned with the industry and decided to train as a Dive Instructor. He gave up a well-paid secure job, left Haarmann & Reimer in 1994 and became a Dive Instructor in Stoney Cove in Leics.

In or around 1996/97 Dave started to suffer health problems and after a few months of investigations he was diagnosed with a type of lymphoma, which developed into a neuropathy. His dreams of being a dive instructor were shattered. In characteristic fashion he simply adjusted his expectations and went back to work in the flavour industry as a self-employed consultant for DC Flavours in Clacton and then at East Anglian Food Ingredients.
His health deteriorated and in January 2010 Dave was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, despite this he soldiered on – playing petanque in Bancroft (a huge passion) and started to paint in oils. As if the Parkinson’s wasn’t bad enough, in November he was diagnosed with leukaemia and died within 5 weeks. He left a wife Becky.

I was privileged to speak at Dave’s celebration at the Swan Revived Hotel at Newport Pagnell in which a number of BSF friends attended; we will all miss his infectious laugh and sense of fun. He was a true gentleman.

Richard Clark