Frank Flintoft

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FRANK Flintoft, one of the doyens of North Yorkshire’s farming industry, has died aged 94.

He was a former president of Ryedale Show and a founder of Helmsley Young Farmers’ Club (YFC) nearly 80 years ago, and remained so until his death.

Mr Flintoft farmed at Ampleforth, Nunnington and Harome before he retired.

The ninth child of a family of 10, he was brought up at Plantation Farm, Ampleforth, and the family later moved to Low Woods, Nunnington, where, after leaving the village school at 14, he went into farming at Home Farm, Harome and Rievaulx Moor.

He recalled in an interview on his 90th birthday how the YFC was started as a calf club and how he had farmed with horses, harvest being cut with self-binders, and how one of his many rural skills was thatching the corn stacks.

“Rural life was very different then – there was no electricity for power or light, and very few tractors working the land – the horse reigned supreme,” he said.

Mr Flintoft’s other interests included cricket – he was chairman of Rievaulx Cricket Club and its treasurer for 34 years.

He was also a member of Helmsley Parochial Church Council and secretary of the village hall at Rievaulx where he and his wife, Joan, lived for 29 years in retirement.

For five years, he was chairman of the Helmsley branch of the National Farmers’ Union and still attended meetings regularly.

One of his proudest achievements was to receive the Ryedale Show Award for services to the community.

His daughter, Sally Marley, said: “Farming was Dad’s whole life.

“He was well respected throughout the farming world in Ryedale and we were all very proud of him.”

He leaves a widow, Joan, children, Sue, David and Sally, and eight grandchildren, Julie, David, Paul, Aron, Richard, Andrew, Nick and Thomas.

Mr Flintoft’s funeral will be held at All Saints’ Church, Helmsley, on Tuesday, at noon.