TRIBUTES have been paid to well-known and popular Bromsgrove businessman David Hewston - owner of Bumble Hole Eggs - who has died at the age of 76.

Mr Hewston passed away on Saturday, January 25 at Rashwood Nursing Home in Wychbold, surrounded by his family.

In a sad coincidence, Mr Hewston's long-serving associate David Saice, 75, who worked for the company for more than 35 years, died two days earlier on Thursday, January 23 after battling pancreatic cancer.

Mr Hewston had been suffering with Parkinson’s Disease for the past six years and following a fall in early December he developed hospital acquired pneumonia.

Despite overcoming this, he went on to develop other Parkinson’s related complications that led to his death.

A joint statement from Mr Hewston's family and the Bumble Hole company said: "David started in the egg industry at the age of 18, in 1961.

"He bought some land at Bumble Hole Lane in Bournheath, Bromsgrove in 1963, when he moved from the family house at Old Birmingham Road, Marlbrook.

"This eventually became the well-known and respected business that it is today.

"Throughout his life, David worked tirelessly to develop Bumble Hole Foods into one of the most respected egg companies in the UK, and it now employs over 80 people.

"David leaves behind wife Maureen, daughter Sharon, son Andrew and four grandchildren, Cameron, Lauren, William and Anya.

"He will be sorely missed by family, friends and everyone who was lucky enough to know him."

Mr Hewston’s funeral is being held on Monday, February 17 at 12.30pm, at Redditch Crematorium. It will be followed by a celebration of his life at Chateau Impney hotel.

The funeral for Mr Saice, meanwhile, will be held at St John's Church, Kidderminster Road, Bromsgrove on Monday, February 10 at 12 noon.

He leaves behind wife Carol, children Rachael and Averil and grandchildren Eve and Samuel.

A Bumble Hole tribute read: "David Saice joined David Hewston at Bumble Hole in 1973, and they worked tirelessly together.

"David Saice worked as dad’s right hand man for well over 35 years and together they developed Bumble Hole Foods into one of the most respected egg companies in the UK.

"Together the two Davids were extremely humble and hard-working and Bromsgrove have lost two great men."