Straight talking Charlie a real Long Marton character
A REAL character who loved a “good crack” and always had time to help anyone is how Charlie Simpson, of Long Marton, has been described after his death at the age of 83.
A hugely popular member of the community, Charlie was well known throughout Eden, particularly for his straight talking and funny banter.
Born Frederick Ray-mond Simpson on 20th December, 1933, Charlie earned his lifelong nickname as a boy when locals at Musgrave pub used to say he was “a proper Charlie”.
The son of Frederick and Edith Simpson, of Lordmire, Asby, he was one of 15 children, having 10 sisters and four brothers — seven of whom he is survived by.
Shortly after Charlie was born the family moved to farm at Lane Foot, Great Musgrave, before later moving to Sandford Hall where they farmed until his parents retired.
He was educated at Langrigg and Kirkby Stephen schools but, along with all his siblings, spent a lot of time helping out on the family farm. On leaving school Charlie began working as a hired help on a number of farms around Upper Eden.
It was while working at the Brass family farm at Soulby that he met his future wife, Maggie Howe, originally from Dufton Hall.
The couple married at Appleby Methodist Church on 26th April, 1958, and made their first home at Clay House, Long Marton, while Charlie worked for Bill Ivinson at Broom House Farm.
While at Clay House their daughter, Karen, was born. She now lives at Margaret’s Way, Appleby, with her partner, George Adamiak, and works at Appleby Grange.
In 1960 their second daughter, Jill, was born after the family had moved to live in Warcop. Jill now lives in Kirkby Stephen with her husband, David Tarn, and works at Long Marton School. Their third daughter was also born while the family lived at Warcop.
During his lifetime Charlie had a variety of jobs, including driving for Norman Carrick and also Cragg and Cuttriss. The family moved house several times, including to Close House, Knock, before settling in their home at Croft View when it was newly built in 1965.
For the last 17 years of his working life Charlie was employed as a heavy plant fitter for Cumbrian Industrials. He retired aged 65 and was able to spend more time on his hobbies.
Throughout his life he kept horses and used to break them in. He visited Appleby horse fair every year and made many friends from the travelling community. He attended the Kirkby Stephen horse sale each year.
Charlie had two allotments in Long Marton and used to grow produce which he exhibited at local shows each year, scooping numerous prizes.
Charlie was a big part of the Waitby Cup football competition, which was run by his father Frederick Simpson for 47 years. After his father’s day, his brother, Dennis Simpson, took over the running of it until he retired.
He enjoyed playing darts and dominoes in both Gullom and Long Marton pubs and loved mixing with people and having a laugh — something which gained him friends both young and old.
One of Charlie’s best friends was Peter Brunskill who said he had numerous stories to tell — but they were not fit for public reading!
Maggie and Charlie loved holidays abroad, particularly to Spain, and had two holidays every year after he retired.
Above all, Charlie was a family man. He had seven grandchildren — Karen’s daughters, Donna Simpson, Julie Jackson and Kirstie Simpson; Jill’s daughters, Nicola and Hollie Steadman; and also Zoe and Abi Butterworth.
He also had three great-grandchildren who he was said to “dote on” — Donna and her partner Paul Hinkley’s son Blake, and Julie and her husband Tony’s children Imani and Paytn. Charlie enjoyed nothing more than taking his great-grandchildren down the lane to his field where they would feed the hens.
Charlie died suddenly, but peacefully, surrounded by his family at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.