LJ fairburn Poultry

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In Memory of Stuart Fairburn

Jun 17, 2021

This Father’s Day will be particularly poignant for our family. On June 8, 2021, Stuart Fairburn – much loved husband, father, grandfather and larger than life owner of L J Fairburn & Son Ltd – passed away.

For 70 years, Stuart lived, worked, and breathed the L J Fairburn business – even to his dying day.

Stuart Fairburn 2 copy

Born in Alford on May 4, 1951 – the same year his father Leslie James (Jim) Fairburn set up the L J Fairburn & Son business – he got stuck into farming life at a very young age. He always put work and the chickens before anything and everything.

One of his many farming stories included the day when he followed a chicken into one of the small sheds through the pop hole when he about three years old. When the pop hole shut behind him, he found himself stuck inside the chicken shed!

 Fairburns 70th anniversary baby stuart and jim fairburn

Stuart was educated locally. He attended Alford primary school and the John Spendluffe Secondary school. During this time, his father told his school not to send homework home because Stuart had enough work to do on the farm. Stuart thought this was a great idea! He left school at 15-years-old without taking any exams.

 Stuart fairburn with dog

He grew to love everything about farming and was always interested in talking to staff and farmers, finding out what was going on in the industry and attending poultry meetings and discussion groups. He played a big part in the industry.

Stuart was never afraid to get his sleeves rolled up and had a very strong work ethic. He would never ask anyone to do anything he wasn’t prepared to do himself. His motto was “work when other people are playing”. And he certainly lived up to it. He put his heart and soul into growing his father’s Lincolnshire egg business into what it is today – one of the largest independent egg producers and packers in the UK.

Fairburns stuart and jim

He loved the ever-changing progression and innovation in the farming industry. He was always enthusiastic about the next project and was very impressed as the business expanded. He loved to see new land purchased, a new poultry shed being built, the development in the packing centre or admire a new fleet of lorries. Stuart was the first farmer to put-up free-range sheds in the 1980s, back when all the eggs needed to be collected by hand.

By his side through his farming career was Judy. As youngsters, they lived three miles apart from each other. Stuart knew Judy worked in a bank and he would time his drive home so he could meet her. Every day at 3pm, he would catch her walking to the post office to drop the post off and he’d pick her up in his car to give her a lift. He first asked her out by leaving a note on her car window screen, asking her to meet him at the Vine at South Thoresby. He turned up with a friend and Judy turned up with her sister! They married on September 16, 1970 – and celebrated their 50th anniversary last year.

Stuart and Judy 

During their marriage Stuart was a real family man, helping to bring up their three children – Sarah, Caroline, and Dan – who all went into the business with him. He especially loved spending time with his eight grandchildren Olivia, Jenson, Leila, William, Peyia, Amelia, James, and Annie.

Stuart was very caring and felt everyone had a value in life and no one was better than the next person. He would always help people to achieve their goals in life and believe in themselves. As a well-liked member of the Alford community, he also loved to support local sporting teams and local charities.

Above all, Stuart was most proud of the business foundations he laid which allowed the next generation to take the family business he loved so much to the next level.