A VETERAN Goostrey gooseberry grower hailed a ‘lovely man and friend’ has left a lasting legacy.

David Hassall, 88, died earlier this month following a short illness.

The dad-of-five was a keen gooseberry grower from an early age.

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A lover of the countryside where he lived all his life, he was an avid member of Goostrey Gooseberry Society for 50 years.

Knutsford Guardian: David HassallDavid Hassall (Image: Hassall family archive)

David was often among the top prize winners and won the annual show in 1995 with the heaviest berry.

He grew up at Pear Tree Farm with parents, Arthur and Florrie Hassall, who were market gardeners.

David followed in their footsteps, specialising in raising flowers on the five-acre smallholding at Blackden.

He studied at Goostrey Primary School, Hardern House at Alderley Edge and Over Peover School.

At 15, he left school to work in horticulture where he stayed until his retirement.

When he was 18, he was drafted into the Staffordshire Regiment for National Service.

David served in Eygpt during the 1950s, helping to guard the vital Suez Canal waterway.

Knutsford Guardian: David Hassall and wife Pauline growing flowers in the 1980sDavid Hassall and wife Pauline growing flowers in the 1980s (Image: John Williams)

He maintained his links with the military for the rest of his life as a member of the Goostrey branch of the Royal British Legion.

As a youngster in the village, he was a member of Luke's Church choir.

Knutsford Guardian: David Hassall at Goostrey Gooseberry Show in 2022David Hassall at Goostrey Gooseberry Show in 2022 (Image: Emma Williams)

A love of the outdoors saw him enjoy rural pursuits, such as shooting and fishing.

Family and friend described him as a ‘countryman through and through’.

David leaves wife, Pauline, sons Dave, Philip, Nick, Christian and Jonathan, five grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

His funeral is on Friday, December 8 at 1pm at Birches Crematorium, Lach Dennis.

Family flowers only. Donations gratefully received for the Royal British Legion.