Haulier and sheep breeder who loved life on the land
AN Eden man who travelled far and wide exhibiting and promoting his favourite sheep breed, Sidney Ivinson, Ingledene, Hunsonby, has died after a 10-year battle with leukaemia. He was aged 76.
Sidney ran his own haulage business for 40 years but was a farmer at heart, raising cattle, keeping horses and poultry, and particularly breeding, exhibiting and promoting pure bred Bluefaced Leicester sheep.
Sidney was the oldest of the three sons of Joseph and Ella Ivinson, being born at Beck Brow, Ainstable. When Sidney was a youngster the family moved to farm Sycamore House, Glassonby, and he walked the mile to Maughanby School each day with the other village children. He then moved on to Lazonby School but had to leave at the age of 14 to help on the farm because of his parents’ ill health.
As a young man he had a great interest in Addingham Church, digging graves and cutting the churchyard grass, an interest he rekindled in later decades after moving back to the parish.
Sidney met his wife-to-be, Muriel Burne, at a dance at Glassonby village hall and the couple married at Addingham in 1964. He initially worked as cowman at Inglewood Bank, Bowscar, for a year and a half and then the couple moved to Plumpton Foot, with Sidney joining his father on the family farm before starting his own haulage business, delivering farm feeds for 40 years.
In 1976, the couple moved to Ingledene, Hunsonby, where they built their home, an extension to the bungalow of Muriel’s parents, Marjorie and Eddie Burne. They continued to live there throughout their life together and Sidney began building cattle sheds, developing the farm yard and breeding sheep. He followed his father into keeping Bluefaced Leicester sheep and built up a flock of 40 pedigree ewes, choosing Addingham as his flock name.
He was very interested in Penrith agricultural show, serving on the committee for 32 years, becoming chairman and show director and being made a life member.
Sidney served on the committee of the Bluefaced Leicester Sheep Breeders’ Association and was North West regional chairman for several years and also national chairman for a year. He enjoyed trips to Ireland for meetings and judging, and highlights of his time as chairman were trips to Romania to promote the breed, resulting in many sheep being sent there, including some of his own. He enjoyed exhibiting sheep and also judged at shows throughout the UK, including the Great Yorkshire and at Builth Wells, Wales.
He also enjoyed many years on the Ullswater Pony Sports committee and had many jumping ponies ridden by his daughter, Trisha. He had a great love of horses and always had a number on his farm. Vintage tractors were another interest and over the years he accumulated 11, including four grey “Fergies”. He served for many years on Addingham parochial church council and was also on the Hutchinson educational charity in Hunsonby and Winskill.
Sidney always enjoyed making things, maintaining his own wagons and doing building work at Ingledene. In spite of his deteriorating health, last year he oversaw grandson Matthew erecting the latest building there and, in summer, insisted on rowing up at haytime.
Although farming meant he and Muriel had few holidays, they did enjoy weekends away in Scotland — particularly the Isle of Skye — visiting castles and gardens and sightseeing.
Despite being diagnosed with leukaemia more than a decade ago, he was determined to fight the illness and, after each bout of treatment, could not wait to get back among his animals. He battled a number of setbacks, including breaking his leg while exhibiting at Cockermouth show, and contracting TB, chickenpox and poisoning infections. In recent months, the care of his family allowed him to be nursed at home at Ingledene, where he died on 27th October.
Wife Muriel paid tribute to the care given him by the NHS, including at Kirkoswald GP surgery and the haematology unit at the Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle — to which memorial donations are being made — as well as hospitals at Newcastle, Sunderland and Washington, where he received treatment.
Sidney is survived by wife Muriel, daughter Trisha, grandsons David Ivinson and Matthew Veitch and great grandchildren Chloe and Joshua Ivinson. The funeral service took place at Addingham Church on Wednesday, conducted by Canon Stephen Pye. Walker’s Funeral Directors, Penrith, had charge of the arrangements.