Phil Spencer pays tribute to parents killed in car crash
Location, Location, Location star Phil Spencer and his siblings retell heart-warming tale of how their parents met at New Year’s Eve party – as they pair tribute to pair killed in car crash
- David and Anne Spencer were remembered by the TV presenter and his siblings
TV host Phil Spencer and his siblings have retold how their parents met at a New Year’s Eve party as they paid a heartfelt tribute to the couple who died after a car crash on the family farm last week.
Flowers are being left left at the spot where the Location, Location, Location star’s father David, 89, who was suffering from dementia and his mother Anne, 82, who had Parkinson’s died when their vehicle toppled over a bridge and landed upside down in the river.
Phil’s brother Robert battled to save their parents as he managed to cut their seat belts and pull them from the river, but despite the best efforts of paramedics, they were unable to be revived.
Now Phil, 53, Robert, 56, and their sisters Caryn, 51 and Helen, 48, have recalled their idyllic upbringing on the farm in the heart of the Kent countryside, where their parents lived for almost 50 years.
David and Anne met at a New Year’s Eve party in the early 1960s, around the time he ended a short career in finance and instead bought Lower Garrington Farm.
Location, Location, Location star Phil Spencer’s parents (pictured with mother) Richard and Anne were reportedly leaving their farm to travel to a local pub for lunch on Friday when their car drifted into a shallow river
Anne and David had lived on the farm for almost 60 years
The TV presenter’s parents Richard and Anne Spencer (pictured in 2014) were pulled from the vehicle after it fell into the water, having veered off an access road and toppled off a bridge
The couple’s daughter, Helen, described it as a ‘step into the unknown’ as she told how David showed Anne the farmhouse before asking her to marry him.
The happy couple then married at Canterbury Cathedral on November 4, 1964, before raising their children alongside running the new family business.
Robert told KentOnline: ‘It was a mixed farm back then with a bit of everything going on, so Dad had very little downtime and was grateful for all the help he got from fellow farmers when he was starting out.’
He explained how David’s passion was growing hops, and was sad to give it up in the 1990s when it was no longer financially viable.
The father-of-four had studied engineering at Loughborough University, which came in handy for repairing machinery and buildings around the farm.
Robert added: ‘They gave us an idyllic life as kids growing up on the farm. They would have never left the farmhouse, which will always be the hub of the family.’
Anne was a lover of horseriding and for many years was a member of the East Kent Hunt and a volunteer for the Cobbes Meadow Riding for the Disabled Group at Chartham.
A trustee for the charity told how Anne was a ‘hugely popular instructor’ amongst the children they helped, and she was ‘always cheerful and smiling’.
David’s best friend, Stephen Twyman, had known the 89-year-old since childhood and said he was a ‘lovely man, quiet and considerate.’
Tributes have been left at the spot where the Location, Location, Location star’s father David, 89, who was suffering from dementia and his mother Anne, 82, who had Parkinson’s died
A bouquet of bright, colourful flowers can be seen close to where the vehicle toppled over the bridge and landed upside down in the river
A bouquet of white roses – signifying eternal loyalty – were also left at the tragic scene by the river
Mourners left freshly cut on the banks of the river over the weekend, in the time since the couple died
Richard and Anne were reportedly leaving their farm to travel to a local pub for lunch on Friday when their car drifted into a shallow river, which is a tributary which flows through the family farm in Littlebourne, near Canterbury, Kent
READ MORE: Location, Location, Location star Phil Spencer reveals his mother predicted that she and his father would ‘go together’ – just a week before couple who had been married for 60 years both died in car crash
Phil previously told of his devastation as he shared a picture of the couple and wrote: ‘As a family, we are all trying to hold onto the fact Mum and Dad went together and that neither will ever have to mourn the loss of the other one. ‘Which is a blessing in itself.’
Phil added on Instagram: ‘The car, going very slowly, toppled over a bridge on the farm drive, upside down into the river. There were no physical injuries and I very much doubt they would have even fought it – they would have held hands under the water and quietly slipped away.
‘Their carer was in the car and managed to climb out of a back window so the alarm was raised quite quickly.’
The couple were reportedly leaving their farm to travel to a local pub for lunch on Friday when their car drifted into a shallow river in Littlebourne, near Canterbury, Kent.
Mourners left freshly cut flowers on the banks of the river over the weekend.
Anne is understood to have been behind the wheel with her husband in the passenger seat after recently being passed fit to drive.
In his heartbreaking post, Phil wrote: ‘As many farmers do – my brother had a penknife and so was able to cut the seat belts – he pulled them out of the river but they never regained consciousness.
Phil (pictured) also tragically revealed how his parents ‘would have held hands under the water and quietly slipped away’ after they were killed in a car crash on the family farm where he grew up
Phil Spencer posted a heartbreaking tribute on Instagram where he shared that his parents’ illnesses had been ‘worsening’
Phil has spoken in the past about his love of where he grew up and being the son of a farmer (Pictured: Littlebourne)
Phil’s (left) Location, Location, Location co-host Kirstie Allsopp (right) paid tribute to the parents of her close friend, and said it was a ‘great source of solace’ to him that they were together as they passed away
The charming Kent village of Littlebourne has just 1,500 residents and has long been home to the Spencer family
Phil lives in Hampshire with wife Fiona and their two children but has a holiday cottage on the family farm
‘Although desperately sad and shocked beyond all belief – all family are clear that if there can ever be such a thing as having a ‘good end’ – this was it.’
The TV presenter added how he took comfort from knowing that they died together and wouldn’t have to mourn each other.
He said his parents ‘would have held hands under the water and quietly slipped away’ after they were killed in the accident crash on the family farm where he grew up.
The road where the accident happened is also a bridle path and a popular spot for locals to walk their dogs.
Phil’s bother Robert runs the farm which has both beef cattle and arable land near Howletts Wild Animal Farm.
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