Fond farewell forgamekeeper

More than 200 people packed St Thomas’s Church, Heptonstall, for the funeral of a former gamekeeper.

Saturday, 8th February 2014, 4:00 pm
Fred Sunderland

Fred Sunderland died at the Calderdale Royal Hospital, aged 83.

He was born at Able Cote Farm, Hardcastle Crags, and took over the farm in 1955.

In 1952 he tried acting and featured in “Small Fry” a short film made by the Hebden Bridge Cinema Section about a gamekeeper showing the wonders of nature to a small boy as they walked around Hardcastle Crags.

Fred worked at Walshaw Dean, Hebden Bridge, for Lord Savile and later for the Co-op filling coal bags and delivering meat, and then Lee Farm Eggs as a driver and manager.

He missed working on the land so again worked for Lord Savile as a gamekeeper until he retired when he was 65. He carried on with farming though until last year when he sold his sheep.

Fred wrote about his early years and said life at Able Cote was hard with no running water and electric. There were 36 chicken sheds and feeding, watering and collection of eggs had to be done by hand.

Friends Liz and Robert Calvert said Fred was a polite man and keen reader and many had benefited from his wide knowledge of farming.

“He encouraged youngsters who visited the farm to help out, to learn fencing, walling, handling stock, how to drive tractors and use power tools. He was also keen to pass on his countryside management, shooting and beating skills to anyone interested in gamekeeping, in particular grouse moors,” they said.

Fred leaves brothers Percy and George.