Family of Garth Vincent: ‘We’ve lost an inspiring man’

Garth Vincent, of Allington, who died in a car crash on the A1. Photo supplied
Garth Vincent, of Allington, who died in a car crash on the A1. Photo supplied
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The family of a man who died in a car crash on the A1 on Friday (11 November) have paid an emotional tribute to him.

Well-known antique arms and armour dealer Garth Vincent, owner of Allington Manor, was killed on the A1 on Friday morning after his Jaguar XK8 spun out of control and ploughed into a tree.

He was returning home from Suffolk where he had sold a suit of armour.

Today (Friday), his family will accompany his body to the fatal spot and continue back to the manor, before taking him to a chapel of rest.

Mr Vincent’s three sons, Dominic, Byron and Leo, paid tribute to their ‘inspirational father’, 63, who also leaves wife Paula, daughter Helen, and four grandchildren.

Leo said: “We want to finish his journey with him. He was so close to home it would be a shame not to complete it.”

Dominic added: “That he died doing what he loved gives us some comfort.”

Mr Vincent specialised in pre-First World War armour, and his great knowledge led to him being admitted into the Freedom of the City of London in 2002, one of the oldest surviving traditional honours going back to the 1200s.

Dominic said: “When he was younger and working as a landscape gardener, he found a bayonet. He cleaned it up and took it to an antiques dealer who said it wasn’t worth very much, but that sparked his interest.

“That turned into a hobby and over the years it turned into a second job. He soon left teaching to take it up full-time.

“He was probably one of the leading minds in the field in the world. He could sell anything to anybody, and his enthusiasm was infectious.”

Dominic, who had been his father’s apprentice for five years, will carry on the family business, while Leo will run the bed and breakfast at Allington Manor.

The Vincent family moved to the manor in 1981, transforming it from a dilapidated building with trees growing through the roof to the family home and venue it is today.

His passion for renovation was instilled into son Byron.

He said: “He inspired me to do what I do, to work in construction. He will be greatly missed.”

Passionate about community, Mr Vincent was formerly a Grantham Rotarian, and was also involved with the church in Allington and an organiser of the annual village fete.

Leo said he was overwhelmed by the number of calls made and cards sent by people giving their condolences.

The funeral service will be held at Alderton Church, Woodbridge, Suffolk, at 2pm on Friday, November 18. Donations are to the MS Society. For further details, call the manor on 01400 282574.