TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular Workington farmer who passed away late last month.

John Bowe, 72, of Schoose Farm, Workington, died ‘suddenly but peacefully’ in West Cumberland Hospital on October 23.

John was a well-respected farmer whose family have farmed at Schoose since 1934. He lived there all of his life and was proud when he and his father Pearson bought the farm from the Curwen family in the late 1990s.

John had a forward-thinking attitude to farming and diversified from being a sheep and dairy farmer into arable, known to many as ‘tatie John’.

He leaves behind his legacy in all three sons, David, Andrew and Jonathon, who will carry on working the farm.

Head of the Cumbria Farmer Network, Adam Day, said: “I have many good memories of John, selling livestock for him at both the old and new Cockermouth auctions. I also visited Schoose Farm many times where the welcome was always warm. He was a down to earth, pragmatic man who told it like it was and was not afraid to speak his mind. He would help anyone. He also had a wicked sense of humour and loved a bit of sharp banter. This is how I will remember him, and I am sad to hear of his passing.”

Cousin and agricultural and land management expert Alan Bowe said: “John Bowe was my first cousin, we grew up together, had holidays together when children and kept up our friendship for more than 50 years. He gave the outward impression of being tough, but he was one of the kindest and most helpful persons, assisting those less fortunate than himself. I and many others will miss him enormously.”

As well as farming John loved ‘the craic’ and was famous for his one-liners that over the years had many rooms in uproar.

John also enjoyed shooting and looked forward every year to the season starting at Schoose Farm, and friend and shooting companion of 25 years Dan Dempsey said: “The county has a reputation for producing characters, and on rare occasion she returns a character of John’s calibre. John had the ability to trade and communicate with anyone at any level of society. He had time for everyone, and his circle of influence extended well beyond the farming community, his knowledge of current affairs would challenge any civil servant. John is sadly missed as a loyal friend of my family; and a day in the shooting field will never be the same.”