Lincolnshire

Gnome collector Ron Broomfield to be cremated in outfit

Ron Broomfield
Image caption Ron Broomfield, who collected 1,800 gnomes, has died aged 80

A man who collected more than 1,800 gnomes is set to be cremated in the gnome outfit he regularly wore.

Ron Broomfield, from Lincolnshire, who collected gnomes for more than 50 years, died at the weekend, aged 80.

The retired window cleaner raised thousands of pounds for charities, including the NSPCC.

Part of his collection of pointy-hat clad figurines will be auctioned off in aid of his favourite good causes, his family said.

His niece, Patricia Hammond, said Mr Broomfield was "remarkable", "well-loved" and "brought happiness into the lives of many people".

Image caption The ornaments filled every corner of his garden and his home, Gnome Cottage

He started collecting gnomes after a divorce, she said.

"He was very sad, obviously. He saw a gnome in a shop and thought, 'Oh, he looks happy' so he bought one. Then he bought two, then three, and now he's got a lot - 1,800," she said.

Soon, his home in Alford - named Gnome Cottage - became a shrine to the ornaments, and they filled every corner.

"He had a 'gnome-mobile' - it was a trolley and he used to have a little box on the back for the NSPCC and people used to put their change in it," said another niece Maureen Edwards.

"Birthdays, Christmas, people that called - you had to buy him a gnome," said Ms Hammond.

"One Christmas I thought I won't buy him a gnome, I'll buy him some bird seed. He was so upset, I had to go out and buy a gnome."

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