Richard “Dick” Wharton was the third child of George and Annie and was born on 19th April 1933 at Fawcett Park, Long Marton.
The family moved to Keisley Farm in 1937 where 7 more siblings were born. Dick was often in charge of his younger brothers and sisters and regularly looked out for them making chips for them on Saturday afternoons when his mum Annie went into Appleby to get the shopping.
Dick grew up, attending Dufton School each day on foot. As a child he enjoyed playing with the farm’s goats, sheep and horses - he even made a trap to take his nanny goat to the local billy so that he would have kids to sell. He also often built homemade bogies to race with his brothers and sisters up and down the farmyard.
On leaving school he worked at home on the farm and had a keen interest in showing his shorthorn cattle at local shows. He claimed the secret to his success was Winsor Soap which set their coats into curls. Many of his winning rosettes and trophies are still on display to this day in the kitchen at Highfield.
Dick met Dorothy “Dot” Sowerby at a local dance and they married in March 1957. Family and farming were his main interests and he always taught his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to work hard. The couple bought a small holding at Brackenber, Appleby, soon after their marriage and Dick got a job at the local Creamery.
After saving his hard-earned wages the next move was to Highfield Farm, Drybeck in 1963. Dick continued his interest in sheep and had success with his Mashams, Swaledales and Mules often gaining the top price at Appleby Auction Mart. One of his highlights was selling a Swaledale Tup at Kirby Stephen Auction Mart in the 80s for £10,000.
In the summertime a caravan on the farm was used for holiday lets where they made many good friends from all over, who have kept in touch till this day.
The couple had three children: Linda, Colin and Tracy. Six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. His grandchildren fondly remember having sleepovers at Highfield, going to check the sheep with Dick in the Landover and being treated to Granda’s goodies.
Dick and Dorothy remained on the farm building a bungalow in 1999 and continued to take an active interest in the running of it. In his later years, Dick would keep an eye on his prized gimmers in the field outside his window whilst whistling and smoking his pipe.
Sadly, Dorothy died in 2017 and Dick lived with Colin and grandson James. Dick’s sisters Ella, Dot and Rosalind were of great support during these recent years. He will be greatly missed by his entire family and wider circle of friends who will all treasure their memories of him and continue to remember the good times they have shared.
A private graveside service for Dick, with close family, took place at Appleby Cemetery on 1st May.