FAMILY pays tribute to community stalwart who died aged 88.

Michael Richardson, of Wheelbirks farm, died in the Freeman Hospital on November 14, 2021, from lung disease.

Michael was born on August 8, 1933. He was educated at Bootham school, York.

Michael is the fourth generation of Richardson's to live on Wheelbirks farm.

Wheelbirks was set up by Michaels great grandfather in 1882, and Michaels father, Colin was the first farmer on Wheelbirks who brought Jersey cows to Wheelbirks.

Michael was the person who pushed for jersey cows to be the main feature of the farm as he was passionate about unpasteurised milk and clean milk.

After school, Michael attended the Emmanuel college at the University of Cambridge, where he studied agriculture.

Michael attended Cambridge on a Latin scholarship, something which his son Tom said he was 'immensely proud' of.

After University. Michael enrolled in the national service, where he became a second Leftenant.

Michael met his wife on a skiing trip in Zermatt in 1956 and later married her in 1958.

Later they went on to have four children, Tom Ian, Susan and Hugh.

Michael was passionate about farming, especially jersey cows which are infamous with Wheelbirks today.

He was the NFU chairman in 1977 and went on to become the jersey cattle society president from 1985 - 1985.

Michael had been involved with the Stocksfield community centre since 1964, where he joined the committee, he later became chairman in 1970 and then President of SICA from 1977 until his death.

People might remember Michael from seeing him riding around Corbridge and Hexham on his tricycle, he would often be seen with his hi vis waving to a tooting horn, never really knowing who was tooting at him.

Michael lost his wife in 1988, but kept himself busy. He went travelling around the world, visiting Antarctica, South America and Australia.

Tom Richardson said that his father was "a very dedicated man to his family, farming and the countryside."