Laurie was humble and modest and would often say he had not really achieved anything.
He was born on 11th October 1933 at Tyrone House, Norton, Nr Chichester where he lived until he died on 22nd January 2019 in hospital.
He attended Chichester High School for Boys before he was 11 from 1943 until 1952. His National Service was from 1954 until 1956 in the Royal Artillery; he was a clerk. His testimonial said, “This NCO is above average intelligence and should do well in any capacity which requires plenty of initiative and drive”.
He spent a year at Agricultural College in Kenya where his uncle farmed. He worked hard and gained a Certificate in Agriculture but did not want to stay there and returned to England. He did not like the way the natives were treated.
In 1961, because of his experience in Kenya, he decided to open a coffee house selling coffee from Kenya. The opportunity arose when he saved a derelict building in Bognor Regis from demolition, and “Coffee from Kenya Ltd” was formed. At first, it was called “Beyond Mombasa” and afterwards was known as just “The Coffee House”. With family help, it prospered for twenty years.
He married Natalie in 1965, and she bore him two children, Jemma and Jamie. There are also two grandsons, Charlie and Jay.
For a few years, his entrepreneurial skills led him to property development which included the demolition and rebuilding of a cottage in Norton where the family lived for eighteen years.
After moving back to Tyrone House his love of gardening prompted him to form “English Gardenwares”. This was a showcase for local craftsmen selling all-English products. He exhibited at garden shows all over the country, including Chelsea and Hampton Court and other Royal Horticultural Society shows. Years later, on a smaller scale, he exhibited some products at local Farmers’ Markets.
He was the grandson of *James Lillywhite, the England cricket captain who captained the first Test Match against Australia in 1877. His great uncle was Frederick William Lillywhite, the ” The Nonpareil ” bowler. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Lillywhite
His own cricketing experience was playing village cricket for Aldingbourne. He later supported his son, Jamie, when he played for Eastergate Colts, then Arun District Under 14s and Sussex Under 14s. He loved watching all sports and supported Bognor FC. He loved walking the South Downs Way when his sisters visited from America. He supported his sister, Gay, in saving footpaths. He supported St Wilfrid’s Hospice.
He loved gardening and before he was too ill, he spent all day in the garden.
He died from Myeloma cancer.