ACCLAIMED Turriff farmer, Eric Mutch, who acted as secretary of the renowned Turriff Show jointly with his late wife, Mary, for almost 20 years, has died at the age of 86.

The popular couple became affectionately known as 'Mr and Mrs Turriff Show' for their dedication and efficiency in running Scotland’s largest two-day show from 1978 to 1996.

Their joint secretaryship saw the show go from strength-to-strength with a huge investment in the show field at Turriff, including a new president’s pavilion, storage shed, toilet block, tarred roads and the purchase of an adjoining field for car parking.

Despite this large investment – or perhaps because of it – Mr and Mrs Mutch left the show in a far healthier financial position than when they were appointed.

Mr Mutch had previously served a term as show president in 1974 and following his retirement as joint secretary, he was made an honorary president and continued to contribute at meetings and the show itself as an attending member.

His contribution to the event was underlined by being introduced to the Queen when she attended the 150th anniversary show in 2015. Mr and Mrs Mutch also received the Royal Northern Agricultural Society’s prestigious Aberdeen and Northern Marts’ award in 1987 for services to the local farming community.

Mr Mutch, whose funeral service took place at St Ninian’s and Forglen Church, Turriff, on Monday, was a man who dedicated his life to family and farming. Born on September 17, 1931, at Rosehall, Old Rayne, he was one of four (with two brothers and a sister) and was educated at the local Rayne North school.

Brought up at Mastrick, near Old Rayne, he worked on the family farm after leaving school and then went into partnership with his late brother, Leslie, at Loanhead Farm, Old Rayne.

He married childhood sweetheart, Mary, on April 28, 1955, and they made their home at Burnside of Whitefield where his son, also Eric, still resides.

Mr Mutch was a keen exhibitor of cattle – originally Aberdeen-Angus and later Blonde and Charolais – at shows, including the Royal Highland, and the Whitefield Blonde herd took the national award as Britain's best on two occasions.

His other passion was competition ploughing and he served as chairman of the Scottish Championship Ploughing Association. This led to him to become the first Scotsman to judge at a World Ploughing Championship. He was involved with both the Boyndie Ploughing Association and Grampian Supermatch.

Other roles included a director of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland and honorary president and patron of the Aberchirder Flower Show. He was also member of both Garioch and Marnoch young farmers clubs.

Mr Mutch was a Church of Scotland elder for over 50 years, initially at Forglen Church and then St Ninian’s and Forglen Church, Turriff, when the two churches amalgamated.

After his wife died in 2014, he moved to Turriff and earlier this year to Banff Care Home. A collection at his funeral for the RSABI and RNCI raised just short of £2000.

“He was a dedicated family man and wanted all his children and grandchildren to do well in life,” said his son, Eric. “He always kept himself busy and was great with his hands, from masonry to joinery, welding and rope-making.

“He lived for farming and family and enjoyed a great social life – even in his later years, he was blessed to have a great circle of friends, including a group of farming neighbours who met every Saturday morning to catch up on all the farming news over coffee and maybe a dram.”

Mr Mutch is survived by daughter Jennifer, son Eric, grandchildren Judith, Fraser, Lauren, Jodie, Ellis and Nicol, and great-grandchildren Lewis, Freya, Neive, Cameron, Ava and Norah.