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Roly Hayton, Nemsa Past President, Remembered

Roly Hayton Remembered


Born at Bank House Farm, Selside on 11th August 1934, he farmed here for the first 56 years of his life -farming with his Parents and then wife Dorothy. Dorothy only came from the next Parish- Roly always said ‘You should never travel so for a bull or a wife just so you know the breeding behind them!’. He spent his teenage years and early twenties competing with the Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling and was the 9 and ½ stone champion at the time. Fox hunting was another of his interests and he followed the Lunesdale and Ullswater Fox Hounds, they both stayed at Bank House when hunting in the district. He was on the Lunesdale committee for many years and enjoyed the hot pot suppers and singalongs. In the early 1970’s and 80’s Roly enjoyed harness racing, as an owner /trainer with Robert driving at the old Kendal showground and other local racetracks, he continued to follow the harness racing throughout his life and could be often seen at the Appleby races. Robert was born in 1963 and in 1977 they began to breed Mule Gimmer Lambs which became Roly’s big passion in life. One breeder recently described Roly as ‘Mr Mule’ himself. The family moved to Asby Grange in 1989, soon after he bought his first British Blue Bull from late Alan Barnes, Cowden and the families cattle breeding never looked back – it was blues all the way. After serving a term as Kirkby Stephen Nemsa Branch Chairman he was appointed President of the society in 2012, which ‘he was very proud and honoured to do’. Marion Hope, Nemsa Secretary at the time, said that he was:

“One of the best Chairmen of the association, he had a mind full of knowledge, never missed a meeting, NSA sheep event or show. A gentleman and great ambassador for NEMSA.”

Jonathan Hodgson, Nemsa Vice Chairman, described Roly as a “True gentleman, always polite, enthusiastic, passionate and a pleasure to be in his company”.



Roly , along with his wife Dorothy travelled far and wide following the mule sheep – whether it to be shows, sales or branch meetings. In 1988 Roly became a member of the Bluefaced Leicester Association and was on the North West BFL Committee for some 18 years. Roly and Dorothy filled their free time with Dancing and Holidays abroad. After 55 years of marriage sadly Dorothy died and left Roly broken hearted , in true ‘Roly’ style, with the help from family and friends he was able to bounce back and since Covid he has been a regular onlooker at the Auction marts and shows where he will be missed by many. Roly was able to see both his granddaughters, Alison & Rachel wed in last few years and was lucky enough to share both special days with them. A staunch supporter on the local Auction Mart, he was fitting that his last days were taken up at Auction marts , quietly in his own way taking it all in action. Condolences to his family .


Roly Hayton looks on as Judge, Richard Hargreaves, looks over the lambs at Alston Show 2022


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