Businessman with many friends in farming community

Date: Monday 8th April 2019

HIS many friends in the Eden farming community were saddened to learn of the death while on holiday in Mallorca of Eric Forster Charlton, Seat Hill, Lazonby, aged 81.

Eric was the man behind Eden Farm Chemicals, which became a highly successful business, with many customers in the area, after he set it up in 1982.

One of the three children of the late John William and Ellen Charlton, he was born and raised at Pasture House, Wark-on-Tyne, Northumberland. He had two sisters, Ena and Sybil.

He attended the village school and then Hexham Grammar School, but he much preferred working at home on the farm to academic life.

As a youngster he became keen on hiking, often travelling to the Lake District and Scottish Borders to go walking, and made many friends during these trips. Later, he became interested in motorbikes, and enjoyed travelling overseas on two wheels.

At around the age of 23 Eric decided to “settle down” a bit and concentrate on Pasture House. New buildings were put up and he bought a Massey Ferguson tractor for the farm.

It was in 1969 that he married Catherine, and the couple went on to have two children, Peter and Jennifer.

The family moved to Ullswater in 1972, and Eric worked for a while for Walkers Taxis, based in Penrith, and later as a postman. He became a keen follower of the Ullswater Foxhounds and developed a friendship with the pack’s huntsman, Dennis Barrow, who introduced him to the sport of hound trailing.

Eric soon had his own kennel of trail hounds and was helping to organise races. A particularly proud moment for him was when one of his hounds, Barton Music, won the open puppy trail at Grasmere Sports.

In 1979 he started working as an agricultural chemicals salesman, and three years later started Eden Farm Chemicals. He enjoyed running his own firm, and particularly treasured the friendships he formed with many of his customers. It became a highly successful business until its sale in 2016.

In his later years Eric fell in love with the island of Mallorca after travelling there for a golfing holiday. He returned there every year to a little town called Cala Millor, and it was during the last of these trips that he died.

He is survived by son Peter, of Colorado, USA, daughter Jennifer, of Berwick, and five grandchildren.