Thursday, 11 April 2013

Hexham Abbey yesterday

Up to a thousand people gathered for the Maurice Reed Memorial Service. A short blog post does not do justice to this amazing Allendale man, whose mother was turning hay the day before he was born in 1928. The Tribute and the Address gave great stories of a sporting countryman who could value an animal, and an antique, with equal dexterity. Made an MBE by the Queen, Maurice raised over £250,000 for charity not least for Mencap, and the Coquetdale Shepeherds Disaster Fund. Both Graham Usher and I had, in our time, received the wise advice to "remember that, for the Northumberland Farmer, land means everything to us." Maurice lived a life with the land, and knew instinctively the time for birth, for planting, for death and so much more.
Afterwards we went to the Tynedale suite at the Hexham Mart. Above the Livestock Ring at the Rothbury Mart, and reproduced in yesterdays order of service, was the following caption which summed up also a lot of Maurice's approach to life:
"Good luck to the hoof and the horn.
Good luck to the flock and the fleece
Good luck to the growers of corn
With the blessings of plenty and peace"
It was a privilege to have known such a man