Tribute to farmer who put Yapton site on map

Pat Stancomb at work on her farm SUS-150501-095337001
Pat Stancomb at work on her farm SUS-150501-095337001

A FARMER who opened her Yapton farm to thousands of visitors has passed away.

Pat Stancomb died recently aged 69. She is best known for hosting a series of open days at Hobbs Farm from the nineties.

The popular events attracted hundreds of people a time. She also enabled a yearly music festival in aid of the 4Sight charity to be staged there. But there were also countless other occasions in which she enabled the farm to be used.

Her sister, Sue Abbot, said: “Pat had an amazing rapport with people of all ages. Many around here have benefited from their contact with her over the years.

“Whether it was the ‘big sloppy poo story’, learning to vault over a gate or helping to deliver lambs and piglets, the open days will stay in the memories for ever.”

Pat was brought up with Sue on Northwood Farm in Climping.

After she was married, she and husband Charles lived for years in Henley and London but they spent much of their time in the Black Mountains of Wales where they brought up their four children.

In 1989, Pat and Sue added Hobbs Farm to Northwood Farm so they could set up a teaching centre and Pat returned to join Sue at the farm.

“Pat was an artist, a farmer and a natural teacher – all of which were invaluable skills and, over the years, Hobbs not only became a venue for many big family gatherings but was used by thousands of other people as well,” said Sue.

Many schools came to visit to enable pupils to learn hands on about animals, crops, farm machinery and the environment.

Craft courses in the school holidays saw children explore a wide variety of craft activities. Pat’s scrap sculpture, wacky cookery and art classes were always popular options.

Adults went along too – to story telling evenings and barn dances in the big barn, as well as to the bigger events. Those who enjoyed their wedding receptions in the barn had an unforgettable experience.

Sue said: “The B&B guests came, and kept coming until they became part of the family.” Pat returned to her much-loved mountains in Wales after she retired. She died a year later. She leaves her husband, four children and five grandchildren.