Retired North Fife farmer John Arbuckle has died aged 80.
Brought up with his two brothers and a sister, he was one of the few raspberry growers who targeted the fresh market before polytunnels came along and made life easier.
He saw that the big supermarket chains would take an increasing percentage of the market and set out to meet their exacting standards from his small farm in North Fife.
He succeeded because he was good at attention to detail.
He was also a successful grower of seed potatoes over many years.
His interest in the potato crop had started when he attended a potato roguing class at Elmwood, Cupar when still a schoolboy.
A couple of years later while a student at the East of Scotland College of Agriculture, he went on the course training potato inspectors where he came out top of the class from all over Scotland.
Forty years later after retiring from active farming, he once again attended the same course for training seed potato inspectors and once again he topped the class.
He was also involved in the politics of potato growing, becoming the chairman on the National Farmers Union of Scotland potato committee and a member of the Scottish Seed Potato Development Council.
These led him to become an honorary Vice President of the Union.
More recently he co-authored a book celebrating the centenary of the NFUS as well as two books of farming stories aimed at raising funds for Scotland’s Rural Charity – RSABI.
These books have already raised more than £70,000 for the charity.
As a young farmer, John chaired Bell Baxter Agricultural Discussion Society when it scooped up the prestigious Allan Howie award presented to the club in Scotland showing most ambition.
John married Jean, the daughter of an Angus farmer, and they had three children, John, Niall and Irene and five grandchildren.
Sadly Jean died three years ago.
In his retirement days, John would spend most of his time in his big garden which was one of the attractions of the Giffordtown gardens open day.
Villagers operate an informal barter system and John would offer potatoes, strawberries and lettuce in exchange for items such as eggs.
He played a part in village life being secretary of the Giffordtown Community Council for 10 years.
Earlier, he chaired the Luthrie Community Council.
He also served as secretary of the Howe of Fife Rugby Club where he was a long term supporter often travelling many miles to support his local team.
Having taken up curling as a young man, John continued playing the ‘roaring game’ up until a year or so ago, thus becoming one of the few curlers to be awarded the Royal Caledonian Curling Club medal for those who compete on the ice for more than 50 years.
Being modest by nature, John would admit he curled as much for the camaraderie as for the competition.