THE family of a green-fingered Herefordshire man arranged a bouquet of vegetables rather than flowers at his funeral last week.

Ernest Shelley, who was known as Robin, died at Ross Community Hospital last month, aged 92.

During his retirement, Mr Shelley had kept a large garden from which he supplied relatives with fresh vegetables. He had no time for growing flowers and his family decided it would be more fitting to provide a vegetable tribute at his funeral at Cinderford Crematorium last Wednesday.

Mr Shelley was born in Hockley, Essex, in 1915 and his father was a thatcher – a trade which the family worked in from 1807. He started as a thatcher and moved into farming. He became a leading farm hand and farm manager in Canvey Island, Essex.

He married Elsie, now aged 92, in 1938 and the couple had two daughters, Judy and Gillian. The couple retired to Bromsash, near Ross-on-Wye, in 1974 and their two daughters both live nearby.

Mr Shelley had been active until spring this year. He was admitted to Ross Community Hospital in October where he died with his family by his side.

He is survived by Elsie, two daughters, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.