Tributes paid to businessman David Middleton who launched Forest Pines hotel and golf course

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 27 Feb 2019

Tributes have been paid to David Middleton, the enterprising businessman who launched and ran the Forest Pines hotel and golf course.

Mr Middleton died on Tuesday, February 19 after a long battle with cancer.

He arrived in North Lincolnshire in the late 1970s from Sheffield, and owned the Lord Nelson pub in Brigg for a number of years. 

In 1988, he opened the Forest Pines hotel, followed by the golf course in 1996, which helped to put the resort on the map.

Mr Middleton's son Andrew described him as a man who valued hard work and was committed to achieving his vision.

He said: "He always knew what he wanted to achieve when he bought Forest Pines in the late 80s. He believed that you made your own luck through hard work, and in the early days he worked seven days a week to make Forest Pines a success.

David Middleton, former owner of Forest Pines hotel and golf course, who has died after a long illness (Image: Andrew Middleton)

Forest Pines, now known as the Double Tree by Hilton Forest Pines Golf & Spa Hotel, is situated near Broughton, close to junction four of the M180.

Andrew said his father was delighted when the Best New Golf Course in England award was given to Forest Pines the year the course opened.

And he said: "He was a straightforward guy, what you saw is what you got with him. His partner Gillian and I worked closely with him in the family business to make the resort a success.

"We sold Forest Pines in 2005 so that he could enjoy his retirement, which he did, playing golf as often as he could. He was a regular face in events and competitions, and also enjoyed fly-fishing in local ponds.

"His death was terribly sad, but he had been ill for some time. We've been overwhelmed by how many staff from Forest Pines have contacted us since then to say how sorry they were, which shows the high regard he was held in."

David Middleton and his partner Gillian Stephenson (Image: Grimsby Telegraph)

Golf professional David Edwards, who was a close friend of Mr Middleton, said: "For over 25 years David has been a good friend and companion of mine on the golf course and fishing lakes.

"The golf course has had thousands of visitors from around the world and I'm sure will continue to do so, but David will never be forgotten for creating his vision of a fantastic golf course as they venture down Middleton Way."

A committal ceremony will be held at Woodlands Crematorium in Scunthorpe on Tuesday, March 12 at 10.40am for close friends and family. This will be followed by a celebration of Mr Middleton's life at St John's Church in Brigg at 11.30am, to which all will be welcome.

Mr Middleton's family have requested that only family flowers are brought, and donations can be made in lieu to Prostate Cancer UK.

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