Obituary – Douglas Hall OBE

THE sheep and potato industry has lost one of it's most capable stalwarts, when Douglas Hall, died on April 5, following a short illness. He was 83.

Born in Penicuik, to Market Gardeners, he had a keen interest in agriculture from an early age. After graduating with a Bsc in Agriculture from Edinburgh University, he took on a role as a scientific officer with the Department of Agriculture. He was heavily involved with the implementation of the Virus Tested Stem Cutting programme which helped to greatly reduce the virus contamination of Scottish Seed potatoes.

Ultimately he became head of Seed Potato Certification for Scotland and beyond this he was the chairman of the European Union Seed Potato Committee. When he retired at age 60 he was awarded an OBE for his services to the Scottish Seed Potato Industry.

Whilst gardening and sport occupied his spare time during his working career, when he retired, he was able to indulge in his life long passion for sheep.

Initially, he bred Blackface sheep, selling tups off Pomathorn Moor, but after the formation of the Firth Bluefaced Leicester flock in 1980, Bluefaced Leicesters and Mules took over and provided him with tremendous success and enjoyment in his retirement.

He took great pride in breeding Scotch Mule ewe lambs, effectively progeny testing 20 Bluefaced Leicester tups each year to ensure buyers of his shearling tups at Kelso would not get any surprises.

Douglas enjoyed selling sheep as well as judging and was always up for a day out. He is survived by his wife Christine, children Linda and Derek, grand-children and great grand-children.