A POPULAR Dales GP who enjoyed amateur dramatics, music and Morris dancing as pastimes has died.

Dr Andrew Jackson was born in Barnet, London, in 1949.

At the age of 10 his family moved to Edinburgh where he learned to play the flute and guitar and attended Daniel Stewart’s School for Boys.

Here he found his love of biology and chemistry and went on to study marine biology at St Andrew’s University.

Whilst there he was in an horrific car accident that left him in a coma for six weeks and in hospital for over a year. Inspired by the professionals caring for him his attention turned to the field of medicine which he went on to study at Birmingham.

He had an appetite for exploring, walking and, as seemed to be more common back then, Morris dancing.

After medical school he joined his uncles’ practice in Pershore, Worcestershire, where he settled with his second wife Jennifer and had two children, Alex and Matthew.

After a few years of being the junior doctor, he needed to forge his own professional path and looked for a partnership opportunity elsewhere and found Grassington.

Andrew instantly fell in love with the village, reportedly saying: ‘I’ve found home’ upon his first visit, and very quickly carved a substantial space for himself in the community.

He became partner with Dr Ian Kinnish at Grassington surgery in 1987 and together they built up the practice. They doubled patient numbers and moved to much larger premises, which became a medical centre with practice nurses and other health professionals, providing a comprehensive range of medical services to the whole of Upper Wharfedale.

From the outset Andrew was more than just the much respected local GP. His desire to make Grassington and the surrounding villages a thriving, vibrant and healthy community was at the core of everything he did. His achievements within the community are too many to list in their entirety but include chairing the Millennium Committee, starting Grassington Pantaloons and Penny Plain Theatre being a very active member of Grassington Players and instigating and becoming chairman of Grassington Community Hub.

In 2010 he agreed to be Mr February, sans clothing, in a fundraising calendar for the Hub. The Hub has gone on to win numerous awards, most recently the highly prestigious Queens Award for Voluntary Service. Another recent achievement was the formation of The Men Shed established to help combat social isolation.

Over the past 34 years Dr Jackson has written, directed and performed in hundreds of productions and initiated countless community projects both large and small from Santa’s post box and the story telling chair at Grassington Primary School to getting The Octagon Theatre built. He was writing new plays and books and developing ideas for new community initiatives, right to the very end and sadly still had so many projects he wanted to complete.

Dr Jackson was a remarkable and unforgettable man. His soul was genuinely kind. Being a GP is at its heart a caring profession but he went above and beyond this. As a young GP he took a poor drug addict into his home to rehabilitate him. This compassion for his fellow man continued throughout his life. He was a tremendous friend and supporter to so many individuals and organisations.

Ferociously intelligent but truly humble with it, he had a fiery passion for life.

As one colleague wrote: “ He was academic, artistic, musical, theatrical, medical and practical but best of all he was a really, really nice man.”

Remember that incredible voice, never forget the fun evenings and always take something from this man’s life to improve someone else’s.

That will be his legacy.