TRIBUTES have been paid to one of South Tynedale’s most prominent businessmen and community personalities.

Malcolm Hind was a key figure behind Haltwhistle’s Rite Mix concrete firm, and also established the town’s former West End Garage, before transforming a local pub.

The 60-year-old died on September 21, after a seven-year battle with prostate cancer.

No fewer than 560 people packed out the town’s Holy Cross Church for an emotional funeral on Friday, October 4, with Haltwhistle’s former vicar, the retired Canon Raymond Best, coming out of retirement to lead the service.

Although he had a lifelong affinity with Haltwhistle, Malcolm was born at Brampton, and lived at Farlam, before his family made the journey over the Cumbrian border to South Tynedale.

After learning his trade as a mechanic, he set up in business with Colin Kennedy and established Kennedy & Hind Body Shop and Mechanical Repairs in Haltwhistle.

Malcolm and his brother Kevin took over Ready Mix, which was renamed K & M Concrete, before becoming known as Rite Mix.

A multi-talented businessman with a commitment to the local economy, Malcolm went on to open West End Garage, where people buying a car were given a free push bike.

His purchase of Haltwhistle’s New Inn pub made a big impact on the town. It was refurbished and relaunched as the Jubilee, to coincide with the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, in 2012.

Malcolm took a keen interest in the local football team, which he sponsored.

The team became known as Haltwhistle Jubilee, and Malcolm, alongside the late Victor Fleming, were instrumental in the redevelopment of changing rooms and facilities at the Burn football field. He was actively involved with the club, and watched proudly as it progressed remarkably from Sunday league football, to the Northern Alliance.

Malcolm and his wife Shirley were married at Holy Cross Church in 1982. They went on to have three children – Shane, Ashley and the late Abbie – and grandchildren Kian, Noah and Amelia. As a family, they enjoyed holidays abroad and in their caravan, and bought an apartment in Almeria, Spain.

A keen golfer, Malcolm was a supporter of Haltwhistle Golf Club, and also attended Railway and Jubilee golf society trips. He also enjoyed horse racing.

Known for his kindness, good humour, and eagerness to help others, Malcolm was diagnosed with prostate cancer seven years ago. His brave battle inspired friends and family to embark on a fund-raising campaign, with various events raising £11,500 in aid of Prostate Cancer Research.

This included a climb of Ben Nevis in Scotland, while his daughter Ashley took part in a sky dive to contribute to the remarkable total.

Despite showing signs of slowing down this year, Malcolm still travelled to Spain, and watched Haltwhistle Jubilee compete in the coveted Northern Alliance Football League.

He also attended a surprise 60th birthday party.

Ashley said: “Dad was a lovely man who would go out of his way to help people, and he is greatly missed by us all.”