Tributes paid to Wensleydale Creamery boss David Hartley

David Hartley.

Tributes have been paid to Wensleydale Creamery boss David Hartley who died this week.

Mr Hartley passed away on Wednesday after a year-long battle with cancer. He was 58.

The company boss, who lived in Redmire, was a key figure in the management buyout of the business which saved the creamery from closure in 1992.

The company said in a statement: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of David Hartley, managing director of Wensleydale Dairy Products Ltd.

“David passed away on December 2 following a year-long battle with cancer.

“Ill health meant that David had been away from the business for this past year, and he will be sadly missed by all.”

The company added: “Over the past 28 years, under his direction, the business became an integral part of the local community, with coveted recognition for its award-winning range of cheeses.

“Alongside the management team, David cemented Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese as a household favourite, both in the UK and internationally.

“Each and every day he injected passion, quality and enthusiasm into both his business and personal life. David will be terribly missed by all his friends and colleagues at the Wensleydale Creamery.

“David was a devoted family man, and our thoughts are with his wife, two daughters and family, who have asked for privacy at this difficult time.”

Upper Dales county councillor Yvonne Peacock also paid warm tribute to Mr Hartley.

“As a councillor I worked with David numerous times over the years and I had a lot of time for him.

“He has done a huge amount good for Hawes and the Upper Dales.

“He was instrumental in keeping the dairy open and I’m sure those who will take over the reins will build on the success that he started.”

Jill McMullon, chair of Hawes and High Abbotside Parish Council, added: “The news of David Hartley’s death is greatly sad and a real shock in Hawes.

“He was highly regarded, not least among his staff who I know are devastated by the news.

“Wensleydale cheese is world renowned thanks to his tireless hard work and the news is a bitter blow.”