Our tribute to
Eulogy read by Daniel and Nick Ruffle..
Andrew Ruffle was a great man, loving husband to Vanda and father to myself, Joanna and Nick also Grandfather to Joshua, Amelie, Max, Olivia and Eloise .
He was born on the 1st of October 1950 at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, the first son of John and Elizabeth, and spent his early years at Bradfield St George living at Malting Cottage, where his father ran a smallholding and agricultural contracting business.
When Andrew was 6 years old the family moved to Moat Farm here at Barking where he established his love of farming, helping his Dad at every opportunity with the farming duties. He recently told Nick of the time when he was caught by the village policeman, aged about 7 or 8, driving a Grey Fergie across the road. He ran away and hid but was soon found and given a clip round the ear for crossing the Queens highway!
He also loved the sea and many of his abiding memories are of spending time with his Auntie Sylvia and Uncle Jeremy at Aldeburgh and has never forgotten that it was they who arranged for him to go out to sea with a local fisherman Billy Burrell to spend the day trawling for Herring. My Mother recently took him to spend a couple of days at the Wentworth Hotel as a christmas present and he recounted the story again for the umpteenth time, but she never tired of hearing it because it was really one of the highlights of his life. His Auntie Sylvia also told of a story when Andrew came to help her and Uncle Jeremy move from Aldeburgh to Briar Hill at Aldringham. She recalled Andrew being wedged in between lamps and chairs in the Bentley with the hood down and his little smiling face peeking out from between the furniture.
He attended Ringshall school as an infant before spending the rest of his school years at St. Josephs college in Ipswich followed by Otley college and then to Moulton college in Northamptonshire, to study Agriculture and Pig management. It was at a Christmas party at Mouton college that he decided to grab the attention of a young brunette by loudly blowing a hunting horn in her ear. His technique must have been successful because this young lady, after getting her hearing back, became his lifelong partner.
Andrew and Vanda were married on the 8th of April 1972 in Kingsthorpe church, Northamptonshire. They started married life in Michaelmas bungalow and Andrew then began work on the farm, helping with crop and pig management, before moving to Bonnywood farmhouse in 1974 when I was born later that year followed by my sister Joanna in 1976.
One particular farm job Andrew enjoyed greatly was ploughing and some of my earliest memories are spending days with him in a buddy seat which years later he repeated with my own son Joshua.
In the early 80s Andrew parents built Tye Barn House and Andrew and Vanda moved into Moat Farm and during a very snowy January in 1986 Nicholas was born.
It was around this time that Andrew began to concentrate more on the Straw Burning Boiler business that his Father had started during the early 80s, he played a large part in designing and developing their own brand Ruffle Boilers. He was a very clever man with a great mind for engineering as he devised and built himself the electronic controls for the automatic stoking boiler system.
My sister, Joanna and I share many happy memories of growing up on the farm. We remember Dad allowing us to ride in the trailers full of corn on hot summer evenings and also Dad tying a sledge to the back of the Iseiki tractor during snowy times. He would purposely go round corners really fast so that the sledge would swing out and we would go tumbling off into the snow. There was clearly no regard for health and safety in those days but we had so much fun.
When I was 16 I began working alongside him and Jonathan on the farm before following in my father footsteps by attending Otley college and then going to Moulton College to study Agriculture.
Andrew thrived on hard work and in November 2008 he acquired Agroco Trailers, then based at Great Bricett. He worked extremely hard to turn it into a huge success and recently he made the decision to move the premises to Needham Market and this is where it remains and where I will continue his legacy.
He absolutely loved a party and it is certain that wherever he is now he is partying, dancing and telling someone a joke which leads me into his favourite joke which some of you may have heard a few times before!!
Don’t worry its clean!
Ruffle boilers became a thriving business that saw over 3,000 units produced and installed in establishments ranging from farmhouses, factories, large country houses such as Heveningham Hall and extraordinarily, both the monkey houses at Banham and Colchester Zoo’s.
Eventually, due to changes in regulations and cheap oil prices the straw burner business became no longer viable at that time and as his brother Jonathan had acquired several farm contracts which meant Andrew could return to his first love, Farming.
I have many happy memories of accompanying my father on the farm. I remember on one particular occasion during a cold spell I was riding alongside him on a tractor when I witnessed an example of his ingenuity. He discovered that a can of soup would fit into the exhaust manifold under the cab and after two bouts of ploughing the soup was piping hot and ready for lunch with a loaf of bread to share.
Not only did Andrew work hard he also played hard, he liked nothing better than being in the company of his close farming friends, eating, drinking, having fun and listening to their tales of farming life in which he always retained a huge interest. In more recent years, Andrew and Vanda enjoyed their many holidays seeing as much of the world as possible. Andrew loved to go on cruises and had some wonderful trips with Vanda and on occasions cruises with his close friends from his young farmer days.
In 2008 he joined the Limeburners golf society having previously been an enthusiastic member of the Limeburners drinking society!! He made many firm friends through playing golf and eventually became the secretary of the golf society a role he thoroughly enjoyed. He was a lover of life, he loved his family and his friends dearly. he possessed a warm friendly personality which lifes ups and downs could never suppress. He was a Larger than Life character with a fantastic sense of humour.
I went into a pet shop and said, "I would like to buy a wasp"
They said, "I am sorry we don't sell wasps"
I said, "Well, that's strange, you had one in the window yesterday!"