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Terry Dowling: Farewell to the Baron of Sussex plant hire

Terry Dowling Rabbit Tribute

The Rabbit Group is sad to announce the passing of Terry Dowling, the man and local legend behind Rabbit & Dowling Plant Hire.

Terry steadfastly and expertly built the plant hire division of the group from just five machines when it started in February 1999 to 75 machines when he retired in 2012. His knowledge and expertise were based on a lifetime of working with plant and machinery, having started out as a groundworker with his own JCB machine. He travelled and worked on construction sites for months at a time, including the Cuilfail Tunnel near Lewes in East Sussex.

Prior to setting up Rabbit & Dowling Plant Hire with Greg Blurton (now CEO of Rabbit Group), Terry was also a director of two other plant hire companies, D&D Mini Diggers and D&M Mini Diggers, becoming, as Greg recalls, ‘the name for mini diggers in the local area’.

Despite his, at times, gruff nature, the Baron, as he was known locally, is remembered fondly among his colleagues and friends at Rabbit Group for being a raucous and colourful character, whose presence was unmistakable in any place or room he happened to be.

Terry, says Greg, ‘made a good job of retiring’ from the plant hire business, initially buying motorhomes and travelling extensively around the country with his wife Lindy, then later moving to Hastings to be closer to her family and spending each winter at their second home in the Canary Islands. It was there that he died on the 24th March 2024 at the age of 77.

‘For me he was a legend of a man and I am very very sad that he is no longer with us,” says Greg. “Everyone at Rabbit Group sends their heartfelt condolences to Lindy and the family.”

Terry Dowling 15th April 1946 – 24th March 2024

Terry Dowling