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Monday, 20 October 2014

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Community stalwart William dies at 93

WILLIAM Rawling, who was awarded the MBE in 1997 for services to farming and the community of Ennerdale, died on Monday aged 93.

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community figure and family man: William Rawling

William (also known as Bill) farmed Herdwick sheep and cattle, at the Hollins in Ennerdale, as his forebears had done since the 16th century, and his son William, and grandson Sam do now.

Married to Kathleen for over 66 years, William is survived by his wife, three children, Dawn, William and Diane, five grandchildren Gary, Sam, Jane, Georgina and James, and two great grandchildren, Adam and Megan.

The second youngest of nine children, William was born during on February 26, 1918. After attending Newton Rigg Agricultural College in the 1930s he left the area, and met Kathleen in Northampton during the Second World War when she was in the Land Army and he was working for the ‘War Ag’ (now DEFRA).

After their marriage in 1945 he went on to become farm manager of Molton Institute, Northampton’s agricultural college.

Following the tragic death of his brother Tyson, William and Kath came back to Ennerdale in 1951 to run the family farm, and support William’s mother and siblings.

As recognised by his MBE, William dedicated much of his time to the community and agriculture, serving on the Ennerdale and Kinniside Parish Council and as a school governor, taking the chair of both for many years.

He temporarily took on the role of secretary of the Ennerdale and Kinniside Horticultural and Agricultural but remained in the post for 35 years!

Not agreeing with politics in local government, he stood and was elected as an independent councilor to the Ennerdale Rural District Council and later Copeland Council. He was CBC planning committee chairman, and also a member of the Lake District Special Planning Board.

William was active in the local branch of the National Farmers’ Union and served as county chairman for a term; he also served at national level which often took him to London. For many years he represented the North West as the elected member on the British Wool Marketing Board.

His opinions were respected, helping with local planning issues, from a pigeon loft and the safeguarding of allotments through to developments at Sellafield.

William often discussed rural issues with former Copeland MP Dr Jack Cunningham, who visited the farm each year to buy his Christmas poultry.

Together with his nephew, Geoff Brown, William compiled the 1985 Lakeland Shepherds’ Guide. He regularly enjoyed the country pursuits of hound trailing and hunting. He competed and judged at many agricultural shows, including the Royal Show.

When he had time in later years he enjoyed overseas travel, and his interest in horse racing took him all over. Proud of his family and his community, William Rawling will be fondly remembered by all.

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