Respected Eden farmer with a wide range of interests

Date: Monday 8th April 2019

A CROWD estimated to number more than 500 gathered on Monday at a service of thanksgiving for the life of respected farmer Robin Raine, formerly of Fog Close, Kirkoswald, who died at the age of 75.

Born at Black House, Alston, he was one of two sons of the late Robert and Margaret Raine, his brother being Randal, who was born after the family had moved to Outhwaite, Renwick.

The young Robin went to school at Renwick and then Lazonby, where he became head boy and developed an interest in sport which remained with him throughout his life.

He enjoyed playing football, although his interest in the sport waned a little after he broke a leg, and he was a keen cricketer, playing in the Gamblesby and Staffield village teams.

He became an accomplished darts player, winning the singles title in the Fellside League, and later spent much time playing pool. He also enjoyed playing golf, being a member of the Penrith club, and competed with success in a number of NFU competitions.

After leaving school, he studied at Newton Rigg Farm School, Penrith — now Newton Rigg College — where he formed many lifelong friendships.

It was in 1967 that Robin married Elizabeth, and the couple at first lived at Outhwaite, where their first son Charles was born, followed by James.

In 1972 the farm at Fog Close, Kirkoswald, became available, and Robin was able to move in and manage it on behalf of the family partnership.

He had a keen interest in Swaledale, Bluefaced Leicester and Mule sheep, which were at the core of the family business. Showing sheep was a Raine family passion, and it was usual to see trailers filled with animals from their farms at Outhwaite, Randalholme, Fog Close and Old Parks arriving at Alston show for a day of friendly family rivalry.

Like his father before him, he was a representative on the British Wool Marketing Board, and served as its vice-chairman. He was a member of the National Sheep Association’s regional committee, the Hill Farming Discussion Group and the NFU, a past captain of NFU Cumbria Golf Society, and past chairman and president of the Bluefaced Leicester Sheep Breeders’ Association.

A keen advocate of the livestock mart system, he was one of the founder members of the Penrith and District Farmers’ Mart Partnership, and remained one of its directors up to the time of his death.

Robin was an active member of the Kirkoswald and Penrith agricultural societies, and he went on the serve as chairman and president of the latter.

He had a passion for shooting, hunting and fishing, and was an outstanding shot. He particularly enjoyed days at the Kirkoswald Castle shoot, which was mostly held on home ground at Fog Close. He also enjoyed trips to the USA and Canada with friends to attend harness racing events.

He took a keen interest in the local community, serving on Kirkoswald Parish Council for many years, and he and Elizabeth were regular supporters at village events.

He is survived by his wife Elizabeth, Kirkoswald; sons Charles, Farlam, and James, Kirkoswald; and brother Randal, Renwick. He had seven grandchildren.