In the letter to the Hebrews, there is a wonderful phrase as the author details the saints who comprised the history of faith – 'Time would fail me to tell' – and so it was with Frank Pirie, a well-known designer and producer of potato refrigeration equipment.

Most importantly of all, though, Frank was a family man. He learnt the values of family life growing up with his parents and then met the love of his life in Jen. Together they shared their love for the rest of his life, creating a loving home and sharing their many dreams as they raised their children.

Frank was a wonderful father to the late Stewart, Iain and Scott, instilling in them the standards and Christian values that epitomise the best of homes. He welcomed Nicole and Shauna into the family and was proud to be grandad to Reuben, Andrew, Clara, and Nathan.

After finishing school at Kilmarnock Academy in 1953, gaining the prestigious Spiers prize, Frank went on to study at Kilmarnock Technical College, followed by studying engineering at Stow College, in Glasgow, and Paisley Technical College. Although this was his formal teaching, Frank never stopped learning throughout his life.

Frank started his working life as an engineering apprentice in 1953 in the research and development division of Massey Ferguson, interrupted when he went on to complete his National Service as a Royal Engineer from January, 1959, to January, 1961.

On his discharge, Frank continued with his career at Massey Ferguson. His role was within the engineering research and development section, where he specialised in field testing and indoor simulation testing of grain harvesting machinery. During this time, he was involved in setting up OECD test procedures for combine harvesters, maintaining close liaison with research establishments throughout Europe and North America.

When he left Massey Ferguson in 1971, Frank held the position of chief field test engineer for grain harvesting for Europe and was latterly based in France. He returned to Scotland in October, 1971, and took up a position in an Ayrshire heating and ventilating company, setting up an agricultural engineering division specialising in crop storage and drying.

This move proved the inspiration for him to up his own business in October, 1974. From day one the company specialised in the design and manufacture of equipment associated with crop storage and drying systems, with a particular emphasis on the environmental storage requirements of potatoes.

After a visit to America in late1970s, James Haggart and Sons brought the concept of storing potatoes in half-tonne boxes to the seed industry in Scotland. This was to revolutionise potato storage in the UK and eventually worldwide.

This innovation allowed Frank to utilise the R and D skills and knowledge to design and manufacture storage equipment at the pioneering stage of this new storage technique. As with all potato storage at this time, the environment was controlled using outside air, but Frank – after a request from a seed potato farmer in the Borders – designed and manufactured the first packaged refrigeration unit for the storage of seed potatoes in boxes.

The temperature requirement to prevent the production of sprouts was known to be 4°C, but during this work it was discovered that to keep the tubers dormant, the storage temperature should be 2°C.

From then, Frank devoted his time to perfecting the packaged refrigeration concept which is now regarded as the industry norm. His concept of free-standing refrigeration units revolutionised crop storage environmental control.

From 1978-1980, he was chairman of the Scottish branch of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers. He has also served on the council of the AEA and the SCAE.

His package of transportable refrigeration units won Silver Medal awards on three consecutive years from 1990 to 1992 and won the coveted Growers Award at the Royal Show in 1991. The moveable nature of the design led to exports to France, Denmark, Eire, Switzerland, Germany, New Zealand, and Japan.

In 1996, FJ Pirie and Co received the Scottish Council Development and Industry Award for Export Achievement. Typically, to get the most out of the export market, Frank learnt French at night school allowing him to communicate to potential French customers in their own language.

In 1998, he received the British Potato Industry Award for his contribution to the potato industry. The award, recognised almost 25 years' work in continually developing crop storage and drying systems to keep pace with industry demands for better and more precise storage regimes.

Frank was recognised by the Scottish branch of the Institute of Refrigeration Engineers in 1999 when he was awarded the Kooltech Award. This is given to the individual branch member who has made the most outstanding contribution to the Scottish Refrigeration Industry in recent years, whether it be in the field of academic study or research, manufacturing or contracting.

Frank served as a director on the board of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society from 1989 to 1993 as the representative of the Agricultural Engineers Association. He had a second period followed from 1995 to 2000 representing Strathclyde and from 2000 to 2004 again represented the AEA. During his early years with RHASS, he was involved in the organisation of inward trade missions to the Royal Highland Show.

He served on many industry committees over his working life providing his enthusiasm and knowledge. His organisational skills were legendary, with all correspondence filed and recorded.

Frank was enrolled in the Royal Agricultural Society in April, 1994, and four years later was made a fellow. Frank supported this organisation and attended as many events as he could.

The firm of FJ Pirie and Co closed down in June, 2006, and shortly after this Frank took up a position as a consultant/advisor continuing to work up until the end of 2019 at the age of 83.

He served St Nicholas Church, Prestwick well, being a committed elder and servant of the Lord and many will miss his incisive contribution to the life of his family and others.