THE funeral of Harold Robinson – patriarch of one of South Lakeland’s most prominent farming families – has been held at Old Hutton.

Mr Robinson, who died at the age of 88, was a lifelong stalwart of the agricultural community and his coffin was appropriately borne on a farm trailer pulled by a vintage tractor – a reflection of his connection with a long farming heritage.

William Harold Robinson was born at Holmescales Farm on April 6, 1925, the youngest of three sons.

He was educated at Old Hutton School followed by Kendal Grammar School.

He was happy to leave school in 1942 to work on the farm. This was during wartime and there were no tractors, cars or electricity on the farm.

Mr Robinson and his brother Mark saw an advert in The Westmorland Gazette for night classes at Kendal Technical College – studying machine drawing, engineering and electrical installation. Harold enjoyed the studies and gained a distinction.

As a teenager he was accidentally shot in the leg by a Blackpool man who was shooting rabbits. Because of this he was excused from military service but he joined the Home Guard.

Over the next few years farming began to change – becoming more mechanised - and Harold experienced a revolution in farming.

In 1982, he became chairman of the Cumbrian Youth Committee. He was very involved in the Castle Street Youth Centre and was chairman of the management committee for ten years. He was also a governor of Longlands Boys School.

Mr Robinson was a member of the NFU all his working life and became Kendal Branch chairman and county chairman. He also became a milk delegate to London and was a member of the Farmers’ Club in London. Through the NFU, he was selected for a government-sponsored exchange to Russia to develop agriculture.

He was also elected to the Milk Marketing Board. Mr Robinson was a member of the Westmorland Agricultural Society, holding the post of chairman and president. In addition, he served on the board of Lunesdale Farmers, Preston Farmers and Amalgamated Feeds.

He was also a stalwart of the local community.

Mr Robinson leaves three sons and two daughters, 14 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.