Fred Andrews

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Frederick Archer Andrews, who has died aged 87, was passionate about walking, and his conviction that people should be given the chance to use and enjoy the countryside was a defining aspect of his life.

His persistence and commitment brought about the creation of Leeds Country Way, a 62-mile country walk around Leeds which is never more than seven miles from the city centre.

Mr Andrews devised it after returning from Australia.

He initiated the Leeds branch of the Ramblers Association and became its first president.

He was also an enthusiast for light railways and trams, serving as assistant publicity officer for the Light Rail Transit Association, and for the greater use of waterways for transportation.

In this connection, he became lead officer for waterways with the Yorkshire and the Humber Transport Roundtable, a voluntary alliance of environmental transport groups.

Mr Andrews was born in Leeds and after leaving school, worked for an electrical company.

In the Second World War, he saw active service in the Pacific with the Royal Navy.

His ship being docked in Brisbane, he used the Brisbane Ferry where he fixed the broken-down car of a fellow passenger.

He and its owner, a Mr Hutchinson, became good friends, to the extent that when the war was over, Mr Hutchinson encouraged him to move to Australia, and he did so in 1947 on an assisted package, his Australian friend sponsoring him.

Initially Mr Andrews was employed as an electrician on Brisbane Docks, but soon moved on to be an electrical draughtsman. He met his future wife Margaret and they had two daughters, Suzanne and Jenny.

Mr Andrews was passionate about convenient local transport, and strongly opposed the closure of the local rail system in the city.

His long association with freemasonry began when a local councillor encouraged him to join, and in 1960 he was initiated into the Morningside lodge.

In 1965, Mr Andrews returned to the Leeds to help his ailing father with his engineering business, and was soon pursuing his lifelong enthusiasm for public transport, local history and rambling.

He became a member of St Michael’s Lodge, and he would become an authority on local history, contributing to many books and articles.

He joined the Civil Service, working as a draughtsman until his retirement in his early 60s.

Typically, Mr Andrews made light of the stroke that disabled him in 1984, and the sense of humour and cheerful disposition that never left him brought many life-long friendships.

Mr Andrews is survived by his wife Margaret and their daughter Jenny, Suzanne having pre-deceased him, and five grandchildren.