THE Eden Valley farming community lost a respected member with the death of Albert Mounsey, who for most of his life lived at Town End Farm, Skelton, aged 85.
Mr. Mounsey’s family originated from Askham and the Lowther Valley, but he was born at Langwathby, where his father, Arthur, farmed in partnership with his brothers at Langwathby Hall. He was an only child, his mother being Mrs. Jenny Mounsey — formerly Miss Cowin, from Hackthorpe.
However, following the dissolution of the brothers’ partnership in 1926, the family moved to Town End Farm, which at that time, like others around Skelton, belonged to the Carleton Cowper family. Later, in the 1950s, it was purchased by the Mounsey family when the Carleton Cowper properties were sold off.
The young Mr. Mounsey went to school in Skelton until he was 14, after which he worked on the family farm, which was a mixed enterprise. The family were Northern Dairy Shorthorn enthusiasts, as were many other farmers in the Eden area during that period, but they later switched to milking British Friesian cattle, and subsequently kept Holstein-Friesians.
As a youngster, Mr. Moun??sey was a founder member of Skelton YFC, and was also involved from an early age with Skelton show, which at one time was held on one of the family’s fields next to Skelton’s Toppin Memorial Hall.
He served for more than 50 years on the committee of Skelton Horticultural and Agricultural Society, with which the Mounsey family had strong links — his cousin, Mrs. Muriel Slee, was its secretary for many years.
Mr. Mounsey took money on the show gate and went on to become head gate steward, and later stewarded the Shetland pony classes. He was made a life member of the society after his active involvement with the show ended a few years ago.
Mr. Mounsey was also involved with Penrith show, serving on the committee of the town’s agricultural society for a number of years.
He was a member of Skelton Parish Council, the Skelton and District Rabbit and Mole Clearance Society and the Toppin Memorial Hall committee. In his later years he was a keen member of Skelton Bowling Club.
It was in April, 1953, that Mr. Mounsey was married to Miss Betty Threlkeld, of Blencowe, in a ceremony which aroused much local interest, since it was a double wedding in which the other couple were Betty’s twin sister Cathy and Peter Crowden.
Mr. Mounsey had taken over the running of Town End Farm by that time and the couple took up residence there. They went on to have a son, John, and daughter, Susan.
Later, John joined the farming business and helped to greatly expand the enterprise, particularly the dairy herd. New buildings were constructed and the farm was run on very modern lines.
After John’s marriage, his parents built and moved into a bungalow next to Toppin Memorial Hall, but Mr. Mounsey continued to play an active role in the operation of Town End Farm. John died in 2007 and his son Paul now runs the farm.
Latterly, Mr. Mounsey was a supporter of the Penrith and District Farmers’ Mart Partnership, which took over the running of Penrith mart in 2002. His late son was a founder director of the partnership, and Mr. Mounsey attended sales at the mart every Tuesday until a few weeks before his death, meeting friends for a sandwich and the local “crack”. He also enjoyed a game of dominoes at the Dog and Gun, Skelton.
He is survived by his wife Betty and daughter Mrs. Susan Fox, of Hethersgill. He had four grandchildren and two greatgrandchildren.