Tributes to ‘perfect gentleman’ dentist who cared for generations of patients

Dereham dentist Jim Baines, from Mattishall, has died at the age of 87. Picture: Courtesy of Chris B

Dereham dentist Jim Baines, from Mattishall, has died at the age of 87. Picture: Courtesy of Chris Baines - Credit: Archant

A 'kind' and 'lovely' dentist who cared for generations of patients in Dereham has died at the age of 87.

James Baines, known as Jim, worked at Beech House dental surgery on High Street for more than 40 years.

He died suddenly on Friday, October 25, and is survived by his wife, Linda, three children - Tony, Claire and Chris - and seven grandchildren.

Mr Baines was born in Reading but moved to Stanfield at the age of 10 when his father was posted to Swanton Morley with the RAF.

Nelson's county became the family's permanent home and Mr Baines' father later began running a dental practice at Beech House.

After finishing at Swaffham Grammar School, Mr Baines flew the nest to study at dental college in Sheffield before joining his father's practice in 1957.

By this point he was a married man, having met his first wife, Kath, in Yorkshire. They bought their first house in Mattishall in 1958 and the village remained home.

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In the ensuing decades, Mr Baines took the Beech House reins and ran the practice until retiring in 1993, two years after Kath's death.

He married Linda in 1995 and the pair enjoyed 24 happy years together.

Mr Baines took up golf following his retirement and stayed active for the remainder of his life.

"He just always wanted to keep busy. He even completed an open university degree in maths, physics and astronomy after his retirement," Mrs Baines said.

"When he broke his hip, he made it his mission to get back on the golf course. He lived life to the full."

But the big sporting love of his life was Norwich City, a team he first watched from the terraces as a boy in 1947.

Mr Baines was a season ticket holder for more than 40 years and still journeyed to Carrow Road every weekend in his later years.

Away from football, he was heavily involved with Mattishall Cricket Club and loved helping his community with Dereham's Round Table and Rotary Club.

"The phrase that has come up time and time again is what a perfect gentleman he was," added Mrs Baines.

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