AT A recent lamb sale in Stornoway, a minute's silence was held to mark the passing of Charles "Charlie Barley" MacLeod, who died suddenly aged 67.

It could hardly have been more appropriate as he was a very well-kent face at the Lewis and Harris Auction Mart.

Charlie will be better known as one of the kingpins of the famous Stornoway black pudding industry, as he and his elder brother Iain played a key role in the marketing of the product after the two of them took over the family butchery business, following the premature death of their father, also Charles.

But young Charlie's real passion was in farming and he took responsibility for the family's hill farm in south Lochs, before they were forced to sell up in 2012 due to his ill health - Charlie was diagnosed with Parkinson's back in 1999.

Despite this, he - in a manner that was typical of the man - refused to slow down. He was an adrenaline junkie and hard work was in his DNA.

Shortly after selling the farm to the Queen's private secretary Sir Christopher Geidt, the family were shocked when Charlie returned from a local sale having bought 80 lambs. There then ensued a desperate chase to find them new homes.

He was well respected both as a livestock producer - he won numerous prices - and as a judge, often asked to adjudicate on the mainland.

It was only in recent times that Parkinson's had really begun to take its toll, but Charlie certainly led life to the full. During a family holiday to Corfu some years back he decided to take up water-skiing and was still at it as recently as five years ago, despite his body now being affected by the debilitating disease. He had practised scuba-diving, free-fall parachuting and judo, which was how he met his wife, Julia.

Family holidays were often spent at the Black Isle show or at the Highland and his honeymoon was even spent at the Perth Bull Sales, something many of his ilk will well understand.

As befitted the man, the crowd at his funeral in Stornoway was measured in the hundreds. He is survived by Julia and three daughters - Lorna, Shona and Ria.