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Former registrar Cynthia Brown dies aged 80
8:00am Friday 15th February 2013 in News
A former registrar, Cynthia Brown, has died in Airedale General Hospital at the age of 80.
Cynthia was connected with Keighley Register Office for 27 years, serving successively as registrar of marriages and deputy registrar of births and deaths, registrar of births and deaths and superintendent registrar of Keighley registration district.
And although she retired from full-time working in 1993, she was prevailed upon to be available on an “as and when required” basis for four years at Skipton Register Office as deputy superintendent registrar.
Born at the Frances Nursing Home in Skipton, Cynthia lived in Carleton-in-Craven where, for many years, her father was the village postmaster.
The post office also served as the local bakers and confectioners and that side of the business was presided over by her mother.
Cynthia was the second of four children of Aldred and Margery Brown, her siblings being Brian (who predeceased her), Stuart and Daphne Brown.
She attended Carleton Endowed School and Skipton Girls’ High School.
After working in the family business, a chance remark about a part-time vacancy at the Worth Valley Register Office (as it was then known) took her to Keighley and a career in civil registration.
Cynthia was elevated to the post of registrar of births and deaths the year before Airedale General Hospital opened in 1971.
In addition to Keighley, the hospital’s patient catchment area embraced the Pendle district of Lancashire, Bingley, Ilkley, Skipton and vast tracts of the rural Dales.
A registration outstation office was opened at the hospital and Cynthia’s duties included attending at the hospital on a five day a week, part-time basis.
In due course the outstation proved to be far busier than the head office.
Cynthia recorded in neat, perfectly legible handwriting tens of thousands of births and deaths using an old fashioned stick nib pen and an inkwell.
Soon after her appointment as superintendent registrar, Cynthia removed the register office from inconvenient premises above a building society office in North Street to the town hall where it occupied rooms formerly used by the mayor.
She conducted thousands of marriage ceremonies, many of them being people whose births she had registered!
Cynthia was the first secretary of the Carleton Women’s Institute.
A keen traveller, she and her sister Daphne, who was for more than 40 years senior assistant librarian at Skipton public library, favoured unexplored Greece and its islands which they visited 40 times.
A well attended funeral service was held at St Mary’s Church, Carleton, followed by burial in the adjoining churchyard.
A collection in Cynthia’s memory raised a substantial sum of money for the church.