The passing of an industry pioneer, Norman Hinsley 1936-2019

It is with considerable respect and admiration that we reflect on the recent passing of Yorkshire grower Norman Hinsley. Norman has a special place in the memories of the founders of CMW Horticulture, since he was the first customer to place an order with the new company in 1989, 30 years ago. Typical of Norman, who realised that positive cash flow would be critical in CMW's early days, he insisted on paying up front. CMW will be forever grateful for that generous gesture. 

Norman's working life began in the propagating department at the Land Settlement Association, at West Bank. His hard work and commitment were quickly recognised and he was soon promoted to foreman. He continued in that role until a smallholding became available on West Bank. That seemed like the perfect time for Norman and wife Greta to go it alone. So Greta gave up her nursing career to help Norman set up their business and work alongside him, growing and harvesting salads and vegetables.

When son Paul left school in 1979, he was keen to join the family business, happily working with his Dad, followed by Mark 2 years later. As the business developed, Norman, together with Paul and Mark, decided to specialise in producing only lettuce, something that Paul and Mark are proud to carry on as a legacy to Norman.

When the Land Settlement Association closed in 1983, Norman played a pivotal role in the formation of Snaith Salad Growers. He was a Director from beginning, until a few years before he became ill. Committed and hardworking, Norman loved being in the greenhouse and was still working until a week before becoming ill, always ensuring he was the first out each morning — even if it did mean getting up at 4:00am.

Outside of his busy life as a grower, Norman was very active in the community, especially supporting his sons in the Snaith Scout Group, and also as a governor at Hirst Courtney and Temple Hirst primary school.

Greta and family are truly grateful for all the visits, offers of help, love and support Norman received in the last few months of his life. Many nurses and carers described Norman as a true gentleman, something that has been repeatedly articulated in the many condolence cards the family have received. Because of the caring and loving man that he was, Norman will be deeply missed by all who knew him. But greater than the sorrow from his death is the joy that he spread in his life - and it is this he would want to be remembered by.

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