A well-known Penrith butcher who worked with the Penrith Co-operative Society for half a century, has died aged 96.
John Robertson, of Newlands Place, was born and lived all his life in Castletown.
He attended the Boys’ County School and also sung in Christ Church choir as a boy.
On leaving school at the age of 14, he went to work as a butcher with Penrith Co-operative Society, where his father had been the manager since the department opened.
He worked there for 50 years, retiring at the age of 64.
John went into the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers for his war service, serving five years, and went across to France soon after D-Day, moving up through Belgium and Holland. He was among the first to cross the Rhine, being cut off at Nijmegen.
On demobilisation, he returned to work at the Co-op.
Before his army service he used to travel the villages with a van and got to know many of his customers well. If he couldn’t always remember his customers’ names, he could always tell you their Co-op check number.
Sybil and John met when they were both 16 and, after going out together for five years, married in 1945, celebrating their 75th anniversary last November.
John always had an interest in livestock and, as a hobby, reared various kinds of animals. He still kept sheep and lambs until his late seventies, which kept him busy.
He also had an interest in joinery, making numerous garden ornaments, especially miniature wheelbarrows and bird tables, which he gave away to friends and neighbours.
John and Sybil enjoyed motoring, often going for a run out somewhere and having a meal.
He did lots of odd jobs for friends, as well as providing transport for them, and was always willing to help.
He was a real ‘home bird’, and thought our area had the most beautiful scenery anywhere.
He used to say, ‘why go abroad when you have all this on your doorstep’.
John had a sister, Jean, who went to live in the US, and died some years ago. He is survived by Sybil and by Jean’s son John, as well as by many of Sybil’s nephews and nieces.
A private funeral service took place at Christ Church, Penrith, followed by interment at the town’s cemetery.
Richardsons Funeral Directors, Victoria Road, Penrith, had charge of the arrangements.