OBITUARY - Colin Maude

A MEMORIAL service for Colin Maude was held at St Peter's Church, Hebden, on Thursday, June 15 - the day before what would have been his 95th birthday. The service was conducted by the Rev Andrew Allington, of Burnsall, and Tim Harper, the organist at Ripon Cathedral, played the music on the church's 1894 Harrison and Harrison organ - the 2010 renovation of which Colin had been instrumental in. Colin played the organ at the church and occasionally at Hebden Methodist Chapel or other churches in the Dales for 25 years. He also arranged organ recitals and other musical events at St Peter's.

Colin's son John and grandchildren Kathryn and Thomas Maude paid tributes and his daughter-in-law Chris Nevis sang the American folk song 'I am a Poor Wayfaring Stranger.'

Colin was born in 1922 in Leeds and was only a week old when his five-year-old sister Stella was killed in a road accident. He had another sister, Barbie, and a brother, Stephen. His father Edward Maude was violinist and orchestral conductor at Scarborough Open Theatre during the 1930s, and the family moved to a small bungalow during the summer, at Cloughton, spending many happy holidays on the Yorkshire coast. Colin remembered playing cricket and tennis behind the Blacksmith's Arms, taking the train up to Ravenscar and Robin Hood's Bay, as well as enjoying musical evenings with the Spa Orchestra.

Colin had a lifelong love of music and sang many of the great choral works with the Leeds Philharmonic Choir in Leeds Town Hall, including the annual performance of Handel's 'Messiah.'

Colin left Leeds Grammar School in 1939 for a job in the Civil Service. He worked at Wolverhampton, Pontefract and Hull as he was promoted, and specialised in staff training and industrial relations, eventually being in charge of more than 3,000 staff in Yorkshire and Humberside.

During World War II, Colin had gone into the Army in 1941, first as a radio operator, then as a wireless mechanic, and maintained transmitters in the basement of the Victoria and Albert and Natural History museums in London throughout extensive German bombing raids. He later had a happier time in the army when he joined a theatre group entertaining troops in Brussels and Germany.

Through playing tennis in Leeds he met his wife Dorothy and they were married in 1950, living at Ridge Mount. Their daughter Susan was born in 1953 and son John in 1955. Colin enjoyed his garden and his allotment, and the family loved country walks, and holidaying in Wales, the Lake District and the West Country. Colin was involved with Wrangthorne Church, being on the parochial church council and he ran the youth club there, as well as being a school governor and involved with many committees.

In 1961 the family took on a cottage in Hebden, one of a row of mill cottages built in 1792. Colin and Dorothy worked hard to improve the house and develop the beautiful gardens. Friends came from far and wide to visit and many happy days were spent walking in the fells or lending a hand with haymaking while the children swam in the river.

Colin loved painting and produced around 100 pictures, many featuring local scenes. He also liked to work at his computer and had lively correspondences by email. He kept his independence by ordering his groceries and Christmas presents on line until this year.

Dorothy died in 2003, while another sadness was the death of his daughter Susan in 2008 at the age of 55. Colin moved to live at High Bank, Threshfield, in the 1990s but maintained links with Hebden and continued to play the organ. For his 90th birthday the Hebden congregations arranged a special lunch for him at the Clarendon Hotel to show their appreciation of all the work he did for the church.

Colin enjoyed playing tennis and badminton into his seventies, and bowls and snooker into his 90s, particularly loving the bowling green at Grassington for its view of Cracoe pinnacle and for the friendships he found there. He moved to Corbridge in the north-east of England in 2015 to be near his son and daughter-in-law.

His friend Muriel Hargraves, who compiled the information for this report, said: "Colin was a true gentleman - a lovely man with a great sense of humour and always with a twinkle in his eye. He will be greatly missed by his very many friends."

Interment was at the churchyard of St Peter's Church, Hebden.