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Enthusiasts were always welcome. You might have thought you had come to the wrong address but behind a very rural facade was an Aladdin’s cave.

Always generous in lending to exhibitions and books, the Christie’s Hannah Barlow show in 1985 was his inspiration.

I first met Derek at Sotheby’s in Belgravia. “I like that,“ he would say and somehow it found its way to the farm.

Derek presided over the farm kitchen surrounded by trade magazines, auction catalogues, mugs of tea and dogs and more dogs. Daughter Sally kept her dad in the groove – the internet and Derek weren’t meant to meet!

Hehad other passions. One was for old stone water troughs – can you imagine driving all over England scooping up troughs up to 5 tons each!

Derek and Kay had three children and grandchildren whom they loved most dearly, almost as much as his 28 Hannah Barlow jugs.

Funeral arrangements: Sutton Coldfield Crematorium, May 20, 1.45pm.

By Richard Dennis