“Wise, gentle, kind and stoic” were just some of the words used in tribute to Waddington farmer Neil Spencer, who died last week after a short spell in hospital.
Neil (72) was born in 1942 to farmers Harold and Gladys Spencer at the family home of Huckle Ing Farm in Gisburn.
The youngest of three children, Neil attended Gisburn Primary School with his brother Derek and sister Daphne, before moving on to Riversmead Secondary School (now Bowland High) in Grindleton.
The family moved to Waddington in 1954 and quickly settled into Brook House Farm in the village.
Neil left school and went straight to work on the farm, which was then both sheep and dairy, and his love of the fresh air and local countryside thrived.
After marrying in his early twenties, son Adam was born in 1971.
Known in Waddington for his sense of humour and kindness, Neil was well-liked and played a huge part in village life, from turning out for the village badminton team to regularly frequenting the village pubs and social club.
After the eventual down-sizing of the family farm in the late 1980s, Neil went to work at Castle Cement, but always kept up his first love of sheep farming, which he carried on with until just a few days before he died.
Neil married second wife Irene in his early forties and the couple and their extended family, which now included son Dale and daughter Deborah, moved to Prospect Villas, where family life was both hectic and full of fun. His treasured grandchildren Laura, Max and Emelia were an immense source of pride in the years that followed.
Known throughout his life as both a compassionate and selfless man, Neil will, as he wished, be remembered simply as “Waddington through and through”.