Doug Bradbrook of Ravensworth Nurseries has died aged 82

Ravensworth Nurseries, trading as Bradbrook & Hannah, which grows bedding and pot plants in Ravensworth, North Yorkshire, was founded by Doug Bradbrook and his brother-in-law William Hannah in 1966.

Doug Bradbrook died on the April 12 and his funeral was on 21 April.

Friend of 30 years Peter van der Geer of JUB Holland wrote in tribute: "Brian Douglas Bradbrook, known in the industry as Doug Bradbrook, was the owner and driving force behind Ravensworth Nurseries, which is also known as Bradbrook & Hannah.

"Doug was a born and bred Yorkshireman, a strong character and very much down to earth. Together with his brother-in-law Bill (William) Hannah he established the company Bradbrook & Hannah in 1966. Doug and Bill were the ideal partners who complemented each other in a brilliant way every day of the year for over 50 years.

"The company developed strongly over the years from growing tomatoes and lettuce on a relatively small nursery to large numbers of bedding and houseplants on the now enormously extended nursery, supplying garden centres, wholesalers and councils all over the UK. This was all possible because Doug’s horticultural inspiration did not have any limits. Modern horticultural technical developments were already introduced to the nursery at an very early stage. Assimilation light, planting and transplanting robots, compost feeding conveyors straight through the nursery and last but not least the wood chip heating system. He surprised many with the investments he made as a result of his vision and drive to stay ahead.

"Simultaneously, sales direct from the nursery to the public developed as well and slowly part of the nursery changed over into a Garden Centre. Doug enjoyed the public at the nursery and the public enjoyed him. He knew an answer to almost every question, from plants to trees and from terracotta pots to potting compost. Customers were always asking for him and he became a well known and personality.

"Doug managed in 1996 to get Ravensworth Nurseries in the Guinness Book of Records creating a hanging basket of 23 feet across and 9 feet high which contained over 1,000 plants.

"In 1997 Ravensworth Nurseries received the UK grower of the year award. A well deserved prize for an fantastic life time achievement.

"Today the nursery is led by his two sons Jonny and Matthew Bradbrook and Bill’s daughter Fiona Dean.  

"In the last five years Doug’s health slowly deteriorated and he told me regular that he found it hard to cope with it at times. Doug passed away on the 12 of April 2017 at his home at the age of 82. He is was buried on the 21 of April in the presence of his closest family and friends. He will be sadly missed." 

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