TRIBUTES have been paid to a well-known Malton character who lived his life for his beloved allotment.

Richard Hampshire died last Tuesday at the allotment in Castlegate where he had been a tennant for more than 60 years.

Kevin Chilton, who lives in Castlegate, said: “Richard was a really nice chap when you got to know him, and I can honestly say I would call him a friend and I hope he felt that way too.

“He didn’t just let you in though - it took a long time to earn his trust and friendship. He didn’t suffer fools gladly.

“The allotment was his whole life and he had been a tennant on there for, I believe, over 60 years of his 83 in total.

“I remember quite fondly the conversations we used to have over just about anything you can think of.

“Richard was extremely intelligent and was very well read. He kept up-to-date with current issues and if you wanted to know about anything in Malton, he knew most of it.”

Kevin added: “Richard was also an excellent source of ‘stuff’.

“If you wanted it, he had it. He helped me out on numerous occasions when I needed something for the garden or building repairs.

“It really was amazing what he was able to help you with.

“He used to keep chickens in the garden behind his house in Castlegate when he lived with his brother.

“However, Richard’s real love and ‘home’ was the allotment.

“He will be sadly missed by myself and my wife Karen.”

Terry Oxtoby, who lives in Malton, remembers Richard when he worked at Malton Minerals in Castlegate.

He said: “My father used to work there too and I would go to see him after school and would always have a chat with Richard.

“He never drank or smoked and was probably one of the smartest men in Malton in the 1950s, walking with a straight back around town.

“Richard also used to go to the cinema each week, until they put it up a penny.”

A funeral service for Richard is yet to be confirmed.