GEORGE Cook Armitage, who spent more than 40 years in the six-generation family brick making business and was a former High Sheriff of West Yorkshire, has died aged 84.
He joined the firm of George Armitage & Sons in 1947 when stone quarrying was as important as brick making. He established the Swillington production unit, near Leeds, in the 1950s and pioneered the transition to extruded brick making and tunnel kiln firing which transformed the company’s prosperity in the 1970s.
Mr Armitage worked in the business until it was sold at the height of the 1980s boom to another Yorkshire family controlled business, Marshalls plc.
He was born in Wakefield to Leonard Armitage and Dorothy née Cooke, and had an elder sister, Ann, who predeceased him in 1993. He was educated at Oundle and maintained an interest in his old school throughout his life through the Oundle Society, and regularly attended its Yorkshire dinners.
He joined the family firm at Oulton and Woodlesford, near Wakefield, following National Service with the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers.
Mr Armitage made a major contribution to the community in West Yorkshire being High Sheriff in 1987, an active member of Leeds Rotary Club and on Collingham Parish Council.
He was a committee member of Collingham and Linton Cricket Club, serving as secretary from 1957 to 1962, chairman from 1967 to 1971, president in 1973 to 1974 and a patron from 1962 to 2012. He also served on the Wetherby District Cricket League Committee, and was a former president of Yorkshire Fly Fishers.
Mr Armitage is survived by his wife Valerie, by his three children Nick, Carolyn and Susie with his first wife Patsy, eight grandchildren and a great grandson.