Anthony Hill 1980 – 2007
From the Parish News – June 2007
Anthony Hlll aged 28 yrs, died from natural causes at 7.45 am on Friday May 4th while driving his lorry on Norwich Road, Denton. The only son of Bridget and Peter Hill, and brother of Fiona, Anthony lived with his mother and father at Globe House, Norwich Road, Denton, from where they ran a family business, known as "Classic Carriages", a service supplying horse-drawn carriages for events such as weddings, funerals and special occasions.
Anthony came to the village with the family when they moved from Buckinghamshire to "Oak Lodge", Denton 20 years ago. Peter and Bridget soon entered into the community life of the village while Peter ran his business as a consultant engineer. Anthony attended Alburgh with Denton school for a short while before finishing his school education at Langley. During this time he overcame a problem with Dyslexia to gain his GCSE's, and an A level in art, before going to Suffolk College to gain a diploma in photography and video.
Anthony worked briefly as a photographer with the EDP, but when the family with Fiona's help started the "Classic Carriage" business, he took a horse driving course with Stephen Matthews, a former royal coachman, where he showed particular talent. Stephen suggested he was good enough for a job at Buckingham Palace, but he resisted the temptation of a Royal protocol to return home to the family business.
After Fiona's marriage Anthony became the mainstay of the carriage business and became an accomplished horseman, driving pairs and teams of four horses at weddings, funerals and other events. He had a natural ability with the horses, showing a quiet ability to control them; his large stature and infinite patience gave the impression of a real "gentle giant" which, with a genuine love for the creatures under his control brought the respect from them shown to a true stockman.
From the age of twelve Anthony began helping on farms in the village and really enjoyed farm-life, always willing to help with the stock and he showed a ready aptitude driving tractors and practising the ancillary skills of the trade. During his spare time he helped at both Darrow Green and Burlingham Lodge farms, as well as being involved with the haymaking for the stables.
Anthony's willingness to help meant that he was always on call for village activities, whether it was back-stage with the DVC, barbecues for the Church, WI or Holiday Club, helping and taking part in the Cider Club activities; he just enjoyed being involved in some way and usually faded into the background when praise was being issued after the event.
Anthony suffered a mysterious "blackout" when he collapsed exactly a year ago; the reasons for which were never fully diagnosed, but the result meant he had to give up driving for a year, a very stringent prospect for an otherwise fit and healthy 27 year old lad, but he accepted the fact with his usual imperturbable calmness. Sadly on the return of his licence he was to drive only a short distance from home when it would appear he felt another attack coming on, the lorry drifted slowly into a ditch and it was impossible to revive him from an apparent heart attack.Yes he was a real Gentle Giant, loved by all who came in contact with him and a true friend to the Village of Denton as a whole, whose presence will be sadly missed by us all. Our condolences and sympathy go to Bridget, Peter, Fiona and Matt and his loving friends.
This, written by Anthony's uncle, appeared in the July 2007 Parish News:
Farewell gentle giant
Who sculptured the clay on the land
And also in his own, artistic way. Moulded it with his hands.
Farewell tall man, you lived for today
A smile for all, and not a single bad word to say.
Farewell large heart.
Always the reins in your hands.
Knowing what was needed from those horses so grand.
A special son, who had a special gift; a place in everyone's heart and always room in his.
Farewell to a good and kind nephew.
A heart as large as the land he loved so much.
And now we give him back to the place he liked to touch.
Anthony, The world is a richer place having known you, but a much sadder place having lost you.