Stuart Lowther – Obituary

Stuart Lowther (BGS 1941-47)

Stuart Lowther, of Low Road, Wyberton, Boston, died at home on 17 March 2013 following an illness. He was 82.
Stuart was born in 1930 to Richard and Mabel, the sixth child of an eventual eight: Roy, Beryl, Heather, Derek, Isabel, Stuart, Judy and Bartie. He attended St Thomas’ Primary School before going on to Boston Grammar School.

At Grammar School, maths and physics were always favourite subjects and led to a lifetime interest and daily use of maths in his work. Sport on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings were to be avoided at all costs as his preference was for spending time at Frampton Marsh.

After leaving school, having gained a school certificate, Stuart worked at Anderson’s, shipping agents and as a sixteen year-old he cycled to the docks to pay the captains, only thinking months later about the large amounts of cash he was carrying about.

Some time later, again on his bicycle, he was asked if he would help a local vet, a locum was being employed who did not know the area and needed a guide to find the farms. This led to Stuart spending a number of years working for Keith Walker. Stuart was offered a place at Edinburgh University to study veterinary medicine but for various reasons was not able to take it up.

For many years motorcycling was a big part of his life.

In the 1950s, while working at Hardy and Collins, aerial crop-spraying was in its infancy and contracts were obtained to spray cotton for locusts in Egypt and the Sudan. Stuart learned to fly at Skegness Airfield and the group, who were really pioneers, would fly from Boston Aerodrome to Africa. They were fully loaded in Auster planes, so tightly packed that any movement was virtually impossible and with no radio, they followed coastlines, avoiding high mountains, to Africa. A rite of passage on the journey was to fly round inside the crater of Mount Vesuvius, so low that the plane could not be seen by the others who were circling and watching. After making this journey for several years, including one year together with his brother Derek, Stuart and a colleague formed their own company and continued working in Arica, developing contracts in the UK.

As a result of his time in Africa and a submission to the Royal Geographical Society, Stuart was made a Fellow of the society; he was proud of this honour.

In the 1990s, Stuart organised a reunion fly-in at Boston Aerodrome which was attended by many old friends from his flying days.

After his return from Africa, Stuart was so proud that he could buy farmland in Wyberton and while working full time, he spent any spare time with the Brotherton family learning about farm practices. Having returned to Boston, Stuart led a more settled life, working for the Ministry of Agriculture in Kirton, and being involved with, among other things, land drainage, which became a passion.

It was suggested that Stuart should move to work in Whitehall but life in the big city held no attraction for him.

Stuart joined Holland County Council in 1964 as a surveyorin the Architects’ Department and continued in the role after the merger into Lincolnshire County Council. During this time he studied for professional qualifications, becoming a Fellow of the Institute of Civil Engineering Surveyors, a Member of the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management and more. Having undertaken academic examinations and practical projects he became a Doctor of Science. Eventually they all became Geospatial Engineers.

After many years of travelling around Lincolnshire, Stuart decided to take early retirement and went into property development but, missing the survey work, he took up- an appointment as consultant to Alford, Louth and Skegness Drainage Boards until heart problems forced another retirement from full time work. He had a triple heart bypass in 1999 but he continued in private practice when a sufficiently interesting job came along.

Stuart finally retired completely in January 2011 after being diagnosed with cancer but continued to advise some clients.

Stuart met his wife, Pat, in 1964 when both of them were working at County Hall. Stuart an Pat have three children: Rachel, Emma and Roger, and four grandchildren.

His funeral took place at St Leodegar’s Church, Wyberton, followed by interment. The service was officiated by the Revd Charles Sowden.

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