The news from the Eastern Counties, that Colin Hutchinson has died will leave a huge hole in the world of agricultural and horticultural merchanting that will resonate across the whole industry. The name HL Hutchinson Ltd is synonymous with modernity and good service, allied to competitive pricing, with the current Managing Director, Mike Hutchinson (Colin’s son), continuing the dynastical succession now spanning several generations.
Born and bred in Wisbech, Colin ‘schooled’ at the local and renowned Wisbech Grammar School, where he acquitted himself on the athletic track at the half-mile (even racing at the then White City stadium) progressing to Nottingham University (having completed a pre-entry year at Edward Vinson Ltd at Faversham). At University he met life-long friend and Fruit Consultant, Roger Worraker.
Of a post-war generation, Colin completed his basic National Service training in Worcestershire before joining the Intelligence Crops, and being posted to the Middle East, returning to home join his father in the family business, where in 1973 he became Managing Director.
There were four employees in the company at that time. Colin enjoyed a reputation of being a ‘master of people skills’ in an industry where he ‘simply knew everyone’. Colin never retired, merely ‘scaled back’, he and his wife Jean celebrating a diamond wedding anniversary in 2016 ~ a remarkable achievement. He enjoyed the company of his five grandchildren, and the ‘camaraderie’ of the fruit industry, acquiring a reputation of encouragement and support for all those around him.