Obituary - Geoff Watchorn

GEOFFREY Samuel Shepperson Watchorn of Whissendine died at his home on March 21 aged 88.

The eldest son of the late Roy and Dora Watchorn, he was educated at King Edward VII School in Melton.

He was a well-known and respected figure in the farming world and during his life held the roles of farmers’ representative on the Cottesmore Hunt, chairman and member of the local NFU and president of the Rutland Show.

As a farmer he built up one of the foremost Limousin cattle herds in the country, winning prizes at Bourne, Stamford, Oakham, Uppingham and Melton.

He worked with his late father Roy on the farm, and is now succeeded by his son Anthony who carries on the family tradition.

He also served for many years on Whissendine Parish Council as chairman, was church warden, and a founding member of Whissendine Sports Club.

He served as an officer in the RAF during the Second Word War and aged 21 was in charge of an airfield in India whose main aim was to train up Indian glider pilots.

During his later years he travelled, aged 60, to Nepal, hiking for 300 miles and raising money to help build a village school. He also visited New Zealand and France.

Geoff and his late wife Margaret were well known for their generous hospitality and from the 1970s they hosted, for many years, farmyard suppers which became a well known annual event in the Whissendine calendar.

His wife Margaret died in 2008. He is survived by his children Anthony, Rosalind and Carol; and his grandchildren Olivia, Roy, Amy, Lisa, Harry and Thira.

Following a crematorium, a celebration of his life took place at St Andrews Church Whissendine on April 2. Tributes were given by Dr Laurence Howards and Mike Parkes.