A much-respected and active member of Penrith Methodist Church, preacher Thomas Pattinson has died aged 98.
Thomas began preaching in 1941 and this year would have marked his 80th anniversary of preaching in the Kirkoswald and Penrith Methodist circuits.
He kept a detailed record of every service he led, right up to his last one at Skelton before lockdown.
Over the years, Thomas held many offices in both circuits and was often in demand to speak about his life and interests.
Thomas was born in November 1922, at Causeway Head, near Abbeytown.
His father, an experienced horseman, worked for 14 years on a farm at Silloth, before taking up a tenancy on a small farm at Anthorn.
When Thomas was 12, he moved with his parents and younger sister, May, to a mixed farm at Gamblesby.
Initially, he attended school at Bowness-on-Solway, then went on to a much smaller village school of only 20 pupils at Gamblesby.
He left at 14 to work on the farm until his father died.
As a young man, Thomas had a devoted dog which would lie under his tractor and not move until he returned from his annual week’s holiday.
During the war, Thomas was part of the Home Guard which met in an old hen house.
After the death of his father, Thomas began a new career working at Langwathby, in the store for agricultural firm WM Monkhouse, later to become Bibby’s.
He married Vera Wilson in 1956, at Wordsworth Street Methodist Church, and they lived first at Glassonby, later moving to Penrith.
For some years Vera also worked for Monkhouse’s, then Bibby’s as a telephonist.
She died in 1989, a year after Thomas retired.
He married Margaret Dickinson at Penrith Methodist Church in 2003 and they had 17 years together living in Penrith.
Thomas loved to travel and was keen to see as many places as he could, both at home and abroad, including Spain, Austria and Switzerland.
Latterly, he and Margaret enjoyed taking tours in this country, especially Scotland.
He was a keen follower of football, in particular Carlisle United, attending matches at Brunton Park in his earlier years.
He enjoyed playing outdoor bowls on the green at Lazonby Bowling Club and dominoes there in the winter months.
It was his custom to do two crosswords from two different newspapers each morning.
For most of his life Thomas maintained a great interest in the popular broadcasts and writings of Romany, the noted Rev Bramwell Evans, who officiated at his parents’ wedding in 1921.
Within the family, Thomas was renowned for his many stories.
He was always happy to recount tales about his childhood, which were often requested.
A gentle man, with a good sense of humour, he was interested in people and easily made friends wherever he went.
The funeral will be at Carlisle crematorium on February 23.
Due to present restrictions limited numbers are permitted, but a service of thanksgiving will be held later in the year.