EVERARD BENTLEY, or Ev as he was always known, lived all of his 87 years in the village of Crathorne and was an integral part and much loved member in the village community.

He was the younger son of Mr and Mrs Bill Bentley. Bill was the farm bailiff at Crathorne. Ev attended Crathorne Village School and in September 1946 aged 14, he started work on the farm. His last ploughing assignment was in August 2018, an involvement of 72 years. This extraordinary record spanned the use of draft horses pulling ploughs to highly mechanised tractors equipped with satellite navigation. Ev was a highly skilled ploughman and he competed regularly with great success in ploughing competitions.

Another great interest in his early days was scrambling, where he also competed successfully. His particular friends on the scrambling circuit were Richard Preston and the Swale and Tate Brothers. Ev’s skill on the bike attracted a group of followers who tracked his progress from event to event.

He was one of the “Famous Five” who graced the tracks in the north east of Yorkshire in the 1970s, and a fearsome competitor when racing his BSA 500cc Gold Star machine.

It was at his elder brother Edgar’s wedding to Margaret that he met his future wife Mavis. Margaret and Mavis both worked for ICI and Mavis was a bridesmaid at the wedding. This happy meeting brought the 37 year old Ev’s bachelor days to an end. The happy union was blessed with two children, Alison and David. The couple moved into Baynard Cottage in Crathorne a few months after their marriage and spent the rest of their lives there. Mavis’s death four years ago left Ev bereft.

Ev formally retired from full-time work on the farm in 1997 after 51 years. On July 9 that year at the Great Yorkshire Show, Ev was presented with a long service award.

The president of the show, Jonathan Ropner, who presented the award, was momentarily confused as he thought that the youthful looking Ev was 51-years-old until he realised that that was his number of years of service. After that memorable event with his family and farming colleagues, he could well have retired but he decided to carry on working and did so for another 21 years, latterly working with David Dugdale’s son Joe.

At this time his favourite hobby was collecting and restoring vintage tractors. At his funeral on Wednesday afternoon the procession was accompanied by two of his favourite tractors, driven by his farming friends and colleagues. In a final farewell, villagers stood at their gates to clap the procession to the churchyard.

One of the regular dates during the winter in the village was the Tuesday night domino drive in the Crathorne Arms. In addition to that Ev with Glyn Gibson, Cliff Tate and Alan Addison always had a game of their own at a table near the bar on a Friday night. The concentration was intense but if you passed the table you were always greeted with a smile.

Ev was one of life’s true gentleman, totally dependable and loyal with a quiet charm and a good sense of humour. He will be missed by all who knew him and his memory will be cherished by all his friends and family.

Everard Bentley 1932-2020, an appreciation written by James Crathorne and David Dugdale.