George LACKIE Skea, who was a familiar figure in the diverse fields of farming, Scottish Country Dancing, funeral undertaking and buying and breeding Clydesdale horses, has died peacefully at his home in Cardross, Dunbartonshire, aged 94.

His horses won numerous competitions over many years and were a major attraction at agricultural shows and gala days throughout the country.

George was born at Carsebank Farm Cottage, Roscobie, near Forfar, in Angus. His parents were Alexander and Mary Skea and he was one of six children, five boys and one girl.

When he left school George worked first as a message boy for Major Neish at Tannadice Estates. He moved up to become a gardener before becoming the major's driver.

Aged just 20, he went to work with horses at Battledykes Farm, where his father was grieve and in 1945 won the first prize for his ploughing skills at the Roscobie Ploughing Match.

George set up and played in his own Scottish Country Dance band, The Four Star Band, which was popular at weddings and dances. It was when he was required to recruit an extra accordion player for the band that George met his wife, Peggy Timney.

This was the start of a wonderful friendship and romance, and George and Peggy were married in 1947. They began married life in Fern, Angus, and their first child, Kathleen, was born there.

George, Peggy and Kathleen moved to Cardross in 1950, when George went to work for Morton Cullen, at Mollandhu Farm, overlooking the Firth of Clyde. From there they moved to nearby Moorepark House.

George started showing flowers at the Helensburgh Horticultural Society and was on the committee for almost 30 years. He was an accomplished gardener who won a host of trophies for his begonias. He later became a show judge.

In 1962, George and Peggy purchased a milk round in Cardross, based at Viewfield Dairy delivering to homes and businesses in the village.

Tragedy struck in September, 1964, when Peggy was injured in a car accident and died shortly afterwards.

George was later introduced to Sheila McLean and the couple married in 1966 - and they and their joint families moved into what became a happy family home.

George started working with Wylie and Lochhead, Funeral Undertakers, during the late 1960s and he learnt his trade in that business.

In 1970, George joined Bells, the animal feed and veterinary supplies company and he loved touring the country meeting people in the agricultural industry and visiting the islands of Islay and Jura.

He set up on his own in the funeral undertaking business in 1981 in East Princes Street, in Helensburgh. The business was sold in 1989, but George stayed on as a consultant for many years.

George and Sheila were beginning to enjoy their retirement when Sheila became ill and died in 1991.

It was fitting that George was taken to Cardross Crematorium by horse-drawn hearse.

George is survived by his children, Kathleen, Jimmy, Eileen, Sheila and Tommy, 16 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.