A SKIPTON artist who was taught by world famous sculptor Henry Moore and whose exhibition at Skipton Castle was opened by LS Lowry has died at the age of 92.

Roy ‘Dinger’ Bell was also a handy rugby player for Skipton - he and his brother Mike were once sent off in the same match for fighting. The trouble was they were fighting each other after a brotherly disagreement over a misplaced pass!

Roy was born in Bradford in 1930 and evacuated to Hellifield on the outbreak of World War Two. He attended Ermysted’s Grammar School and his parents became licensees at the Royal Oak at the corner of Water Street and Grassington Road.

A keen and talented artist he left Ermysted’s at 16 to study at Skipton School of Art. From here he won a scholarship to Chelsea School of Art where his tutor was Henry Moore between 1948 and 1951.

After obtaining a teaching diploma and completing his National Service with the Royal Signals he married Margaret Thompson, from Glusburn, in 1955.

His first job was art teacher at Huddersfield Grammar School but he moved south when he became firstly assistant art advisor for Hertfordshire, then senior art advisor for Cambridgeshire and lastly a senior inspector of schools.

A keen sportsman, he played golf at Skipton Golf Club with his father and rugby for Ermysted's and Skipton. He also represented the army. When his rugby days were over he took up running marathons. The day he retired he ran the 26 miles to work. He kept up his golf right through his life.

Roy always loved coming back to Skipton. There would always be someone he’d bump into that would go “Dinger!” and a long conversation with an old friend would follow.

Roy’s paintings were distinctive, usually showing rows and rows of houses and contrasting the beauty of the countryside with Victorian industrialisation. However his sculpting was even closer to his heart, often depicting peace.

Roy was a lifelong socialist (and member of the Young Communist League in his schooldays) but it didn’t stop him joining the Conservative Club because it had the best snooker table in Skipton and he relished hustling shillings from his political foes.

The other driving force in his life was his family. He leaves his widow, Margaret, children Charlotte, Nicholas and Jo, five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

His ashes lie in the hills above Skipton.

Examples of his work can be seen on the website: www.notjusthockney.info/bell-roy