Stalwart of the Gatehouse of Fleet community loses cancer battle

Gatehouse of Fleet has lost a man whose energy and drive launched many organisations and events for the good of the community.

Tuesday, 23rd February 2021, 2:40 pm
Roger Hampshire with his wife Lyn

Roger Hampshire died at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary earlier this month following a long battle against cancer.

Roger purchased Rutherford Hall in 1981, the former Free Kirk had been offered to the town council who declined it in favour of the old school, now the community centre.

He and his wife Lyn sailed their cruising catamaran from Kent, mooring it at Port Macadam. For a couple of seasons running chartered cruises and day trips from Auchenlarie Holiday Farm.

When the A75 by-pass was being built he persuaded the construction company to fit pile moorings downstream for visiting yachts.

An antiques dealer trading from London, he originally intended to use Rutherford Hall for storage but, over the years, developed it into a shop and apartments, including the family home.

At the time they moved to the town, Gatehouse Gala had not happened for a couple of years and Roger's friend Nigel Hesketh suggested he should call a meeting to revive the event.

Roger became chairman and energised former gala members into reforming the committee, he also initiated Gatehouse of Fleet Chamber of Trade.

A guitarist and singer, Roger loved many kinds of music, especially Delta Blues, and wrote several songs. Before their flat was created, he and Lyn ran a basement folk club from which they made many life-long friends.

Roger to organised informal folk sessions at the Bank of Fleet Hotel and other pubs in the area.

In the early 90s he, along with an enthusiastic committee launched Gatehouse of Fleet Folk Festival which ran successfully for 10 years. It grew into a week-long event incorporating art and poetry as well as traditional music, and reinvented as Midsummer Music, is still ongoing.

Latterly, while living with cancer, Roger kept his interest in antique dealing by running a pop-up stall.

Roger is survived by Lyn, his wife of 58 years, sons Jess and Dylan, daughter-in-law Sue, grandson Connor, granddaughter Rebekah, sister Andrea and many nieces and nephews.