Helen Cradock

HELEN Cradock, pictured left, a Cordon Bleu cook and member of a well known North Yorkshire farming family, has died aged 53 following an accident while on holiday.

For many years she had run her own bespoke cookery business based in Darlington, and was a freelance cookery demonstrator whose skills were acknowledged across the North of England by such celebrated chefs as John Tovey, the former owner of the Lake District hotel The Miller Howe, at Windermere.

During the 1990s, she also had her own delicatessen in Darlington where she lived.

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Mrs Cradock was born in Littlethorpe, near Ripon, the second girl of the three daughters and one son of Alan and Dorothy Abel, a noted farming family in the area who own Thorpe Farm.

She was educated at Hunmanby Hall, East Yorkshire, and Eggleston Hall, near Barnard Castle, where she firstly studied to become a Cordon Bleu cook and later became head of the cookery department.

She was a member of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society and loved walking and the countryside.

She was also a Sunday School teacher and fundraiser for events at St Edwin’s Church, High Conniscliffe, near Darlington, where her funeral was held.

Mrs Cradock and her husband Robin, a retired agricultural journalist and former Press officer for the National Farmers’ Union, were celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary with a cruise on the River Nile, in April, when she fell and broke her hip.

She was flown back to England, but complications set in and she died four weeks later.

Mrs Cradock is survived by her husband Robin, daughters Colette and Melissa, her parents, her sisters Judith and Janet, and her brother Timothy.