Obituary: Colin Hall, businessman awarded an MBE for his services to animal medicine

Colin Hall MBE, businessman. Born: 3 March 1939 in Lanark. Died: August 9, 2019, aged 80.

Colin Hall, who has died at the age of 80
Colin Hall, who has died at the age of 80

Colin Hall, who has died aged 80, was a founding member of a UK-wide association of ­animal health product ­distributors.

He retired after more than 20 years in senior management positions with leading agricultural retailer WCF (formerly West Cumberland Farmers).

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Colin was born on March 3, 1939 in Lanark and was ­educated at the local ­grammar school.

His two years of national service took the then 18-year-old to Kuala Lumpur in Malaya, with the Royal Army Medical Corps, attached to the 21st Gurkha Brigade.

On his return to Scotland, he studied at Heriot-Watt College in Edinburgh before qualifying as a pharmacist. In 1966, Colin joined J&D Hilston – a prominent veterinary ­chemist in Lanark founded in 1838, where both his grandfather and father had been partners.

The firm was taken over three years later by Guiness Park Royal but Colin was to continue his upward trajectory becoming managing ­director for five years from 1972 at Hilston Manufacturing Chemists in Dundee and in the same role for Hilston Animal Health Services.

He moved to Dalbeattie in south west Scotland to work for WCF when Guiness sold its pharmaceutical services in the country in 1979, ­becoming Scottish regional manager.

Subsequently, he became the firm’s superintendent pharmacist – responsible for their compliance with ­medicine legislation and pharmaceutical sales across 19 outlets – combined latterly with the role of technical sales and operations manager, working from offices in Wetheral, ­Gretna and Durranhill ­(Carlisle). He returned to his home town of Lanark to set up a new operation before his retirement in 2001.

Deeply involved in animal health, Colin was also a ­council member of the British Distributors of Animal ­Medicines; member of the United Kingdom Agricultural Supply Trades Association; member of the Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives; and a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. In 1984, he became the vice chairman of the British Distributors of Animal Medicines and was a member of the working ­party that formed the still active ­Animal Health Distributors Association (AHDA) – created to defend the right to prescribe and sell licensed animal ­medicines via its members. He was to continue his involvement as its vice-chairman, chairman and ultimately ­honorary president.

Colin was also a board ­member of the Animal ­Medicines Training Regulatory Authority, as well as a tutor on veterinary medicine ­legislation and exam assessor at five different agricultural colleges. In 1993, in recognition of his services to animal medicine, he was awarded an MBE.

Away from work, he was a keen curler and a past ­president of Dalbeattie ­Curling Club and heavily involved in his local church, becoming ­session clerk for many years.

Colin is survived by his wife of more than 50 years, ­Margaret, sons David, Stephen and Alan and daughter Karen.