Champion breed farmer and race horse owner dies

John Crosier
John Crosier

Renowned Gisburn farmer John Joseph Crosier, who lost his stock in the foot and mouth crisis of the late 1990s, has died at the age of 83.

John built up the Whinhill herd of pedigree British Friesians and, supported by his wife, Betty ,and his daughters, won numerous awards, 
including supreme champion at the Great Yorkshire Show and champion at the World Conference Show at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire.

John was a man who was never afraid to try new ideas. He also believed in equal opportunities and encouraged his daughters to take an active role in the farm.

John grew up in Barnoldswick, first at Moses Lee Farm and then at Hazeldene.

He attended Barnoldswick Secondary Modern School and left at the age of 14. When John was 16, his family moved to Newhouse Farm, Deepdale, and then to Mount Pleasant Farm, Cray, where John’s passion for farming flourished, He later became chairman of the Upper Dales Conservative Association.

The opportunity arose for John to take over the tenancy
of Cam Houses, reputed to be the most isolated farm in England, and when they were married instead of being carried over the threshold Betty had to trek through a frosty field, suitcase in hand.

The house had no electricity, no phone, no inside toilet and no road – and was often cut off by snow in the winter months.

The couple eventually moved to take over the tenancy of Painley Farm, Gisburn. It was here that his two youngest daughters, Josephine and Elaine, were born and he started the raising prizewinning cattle.

When 40 years of hard work was taken away by foot and mouth disease, John took up an alternative career as a racehorse owner.

But he could not stay away from farming and soon had a milking herd again.

The funeral service was held at St Mary’s Church, Gisburn. John leaves his wife, Betty, three daughters (Angela died some years ago), 15 grandchildren and five great granddaughters.