Frank Farr’s daughters have led the tributes flooding in for a man who was considered part of the heart and history of East Budleigh.

When his funeral cortege tomorrow pauses alongside his beloved Frank’s Patch, which he ran for 49 years, it will mark the end of an era for many.

Since his death, on August 16, many have spoken of the sadness over the loss of Frank’s countryside skills and encyclopaedic knowledge of plants and flowers.

But like the true gardener he was, it appears Frank, who was born in Rose Cottage, East Budleigh, has spread the seeds of his knowledge and skills – leaving the legacy of the village’s bygone days – growing in all who knew him.

It was his ‘boyish streak’ and zest for life that kept him clambering up apple trees well into his late 80s that amazed many.

Married to Nessie, who died in 1999, Frank’s daughters, Janet Russell, Anne Edwards and Deb Strawbridge, have been remembering their dad’s generosity to others, and his adventures.

A countryman at heart, he drove ‘like the clappers’ in his van if he spotted a pheasant.

Deb said: “He would paunch a rabbit in the morning. In the afternoon he would say ‘try this apple’ and cut it with the same penknife. We were never ill. We had been fed on bugs.”

Janet said: “I fell out of the van once and he didn’t even notice. He thought it was drafty – it was because the doors were open.”

A hard worker with a passion for the outdoors, Frank was proud of his links with Bicton, the monkey puzzle trees along the drive, planted by his grandfather, and his own work on the estate.

It was there he met Winston Churchill, shooting with Lord and Lady Clinton, who, inspecting the troops during World War Two, recognised and stopped to talk to Private Frank Farr ahead of him joining the Parachute Regiment.

Frank Farr leaves three daughters, six grandchildren and one great-grandson.