FAMILY, friends and colleagues attended a memorial service for former Settle Creamery director, John Richard Hutton.
Mr Hutton, 81, of Settle, died peacefully at Airedale Hospital, Keighley, following a short illness.
A native of Hull, he was born to Norman and Kathleen Hutton in 1931 on his mother’s birthday. He attended Hull Grammar School and later completed his National Service, serving as a lance corporal in Devon, where he played football semi-professionally for Newton Abbot FC.
In 1955, Mr Hutton spotted an advert for a trainee manager for Northern Dairies and many thought he was unwise to leave his secure employment as a wages clerk for this venture.
However, he thrived in the dairy industry, proving himself an astute businessman. He served on the board of six companies and spent many years as a director of Associated Fresh Foods in Leeds.
Mr Hutton moved to Settle as general manager of the town’s proposed new creamery to supervise its building. At its opening it was one of the most modern dairies in Europe.
He led the creamery for over 26 years and helped to put Settle on the map as a major supplier of UHT milk, butter and milk powder. Under his control the creamery grew and developed to ensure the Settle site was always at the forefront of innovative practice.
From 1973, Mr Hutton was directly responsible for four factories, a national distribution centre and an ever-increasing range of products.
He also held directorships with Eden Vale (North); the English Butter Marketing Company and Lakeland Creameries. When he retired from the executive committee of the Creamery Proprietors Association he did so as its longest serving member and as chairman of the Cheese Grading Service.
Mr Hutton was an early and ardent supporter of the 1987 company buy-out of Associated Fresh Foods and instrumental in its sale to MD Foods of Denmark, four years later. MD Foods later became Arla Foods which continues to run Settle Creamery.
Retiring in 1991, he retained his involvement in the dairy industry as chairman of Ash Manor Cheese Company, based in Wrexham and established by his son, Ian.
After moving to Settle, he served on the Settle Rural District Council until it became Craven District Council. Mr Hutton was one of Settle’s longest serving Rotarians, supporting the charity for 47 years and serving as president in 1976.
He met his future wife Marjorie in 1948. They were married at St Mary’s Church, Lowgate, Hull, in 1955 and were happily married for 57 years. Mr Hutton is survived his three children, Ian, Kathryn and Susan, and was a devoted grandfather of Robert, Christopher, Lucy, Sarah, Anna and Amy.