Obituary: Bryan Read

Bryan Colman Read – 1925-2020

The RNAA is sad to learn of the death of Bryan Read, a long-term supporter of the Association and its Show – as an agricultural exhibitor and Vice-President.

Michael Pollitt writes…

Bryan Read was a third-generation flour miller whose national influence over that industry, and the connected plant breeding, farming and food manufacturing processes, exists to this day. The son of Hector and Ena (nee Colman) Read, Bryan took over the running of the business – centred on City Flour Mills by Carrow Bridge in the heart of Norwich – on the death of his father.

Bryan Colman Read, in his role as chairman of the Norfolk Heritage Fleet Trust. Picture: ARCHANT

RJ Read, the family milling and agricultural merchanting business exhibited at the Royal Norfolk Show for almost half a century. RJ Read first took a stand at the 1923 Royal Norfolk Show when it was held in Norwich and was one of 150 exhibitors in that year. It was Bryan’s uncle, Robert John (Jack) – who farmed at Thurlton – who was the direct connection with the RNAA. He was assistant Show Director in 1947, the RNAA’s centenary year, and also on Council for many years, playing a leading role in the decision to buy a permanent site for the show in 1952. Two years later, the association welcomed as President, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother to its first show at the new Norfolk Showground.

RJ Read stand – Royal Norfolk Show ca 1960

For almost half a century, the former clock tower – on the opposite side of the grand ring to the President’s box – was known as the ‘Jack Read’ stand. Sadly, the tower and concrete building had to be demolished, partly because of water damage to the concrete construction.

After the business was sold in the late 1980s, Bryan remained a regular supporter of the RNAA and was delighted when his son-in-law, Greg, became the RNAA’s Chief Executive in 2012.

A family funeral has been held and a memorial service is planned for 1 October 2021 at Norwich Cathedral.

A fuller obituary can be found on the EDP website.