WARM tributes have been paid to former Skipton teacher, town councillor and mayor Betty Campbell, who has died.
Mrs Campbell was a teacher at the town's Aireville School for 30 years, and became a town councillor in 1985. She retired as a councillor in 2011, having been Skipton's mayor in 1988-89 and 1992-93.
The present mayor of Skipton, Councillor John Dawson, said: “Betty’s record of public service was exemplary, with over 25 years as a member of Skipton Town Council and an incredible 17 consecutive years chairing our environment and planning committee.
"She was also one of a very small number of people to have held the position of mayor twice. Betty was extremely well known, and loved, throughout the town – not least by the many hundreds of people she taught during her time at Aireville School. Betty will be very sadly missed by the council and by the dozens of councillors she served alongside.”
A colleague both on the town council and at Aireville, former deputy head John Tomlinson, said: "Betty was a good colleague over many years at Aireville. She did not always have easy classes and there will be people in a Skipton today who sometimes led her a merry dance. But she was very persistent and stuck the course.
"Betty had trained as a PE teacher and in her early days was involved with sports at Aireville. I think, however, that she will be mainly remembered for her work supporting pupils with learning difficulties.
"Through her work teaching English, in more recent years, she had a sympathy and understanding of their problems and always made them feel that they could achieve something. "She never talked down to the pupils and had a motherly approach that gave many of them the confidence that they were lacking.
"Many years ago I spoke to her about council work when I was a councillor, and as a result she agreed to stand. She never looked back.
"I lost my seat after being deputy mayor, and when eventually Betty became mayor she asked me to be her consort, a consolation prize!
"But what was more important, she became an excellent and dedicated councillor with the sole objective of working for a better town. Together with Gwynne Walters, her political opponent, she made a formidable member of the planning committee and the two of them spent hours on plans and site visits.
"She was also a strong supporter of town twinning and represented Skipton well on visits to Simbach where she made many friends. The council gave Betty hours of pleasure and she gave the town years of service both as a teacher and a councillor. She was never really political but had the best interests of the town at heart."
Mrs Campbell served on Skipton Gala Committee and Simbach Twinning Committee for many years. She visited Simbach many times, and a newspaper there reported on her death earlier this week.
After retiring from teaching she was a volunteer guide at Skipton Castle.