Basil Newby

BASIL Newby, who was twice chairman of one of Yorkshire’s former urban district councils and campaigned on behalf of young people, has died aged 80.

Basil Newby

He was a member of Horsforth Urban District Council (UDC) for 18 years from 1954 to 1972 and was twice chairman, in 1962 and 1967.

The area then came under West Riding County Council but the UDCs were abolished under the 1972 Local Government Act which reformed the structure of councils, and Horsforth has since been run by Leeds City Council.

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As chairman, he was also an ex-officio Justice of the Peace, although he only served during his first term of office on the then West Riding and Skyrack Bench, which sat every Tuesday in Leeds Town Hall.

As a High Church Anglican of strong faith, belief and generous nature, he put this to good effect as a young man at St James Church, Horsforth, where he ran a youth club and also inspired young people in the spiritual side of their lives.

It was there in the early years after the Second World War that he began exchange visits between local young people and their counterparts from Germany and Austria. He was a fluent German speaker.

He was born Basil Stephen Newby in Horsforth, Leeds, the only son of Harry and Lilian Newby. His father ran a manufacturing company and his mother was a schoolteacher.

He was educated at Leeds Modern School and while still a teenager in the later years of the Second World War served with the RAF in India.

Following the war, he worked for much of his life in retail with a number of large stores, including Schofields, in Leeds, until in later years when he had a china shop in Town Street, Horsforth, which allowed his love of antiques to flourish.

He was a very active person with a great sense of fun and a huge capacity for friendship. His wide circle of friends, who made up for the lack of a family of his own, embraced his many interests through church, politics and music.

For many years, he was a member of the choir at St James Church although in later years he attended Holy Trinity Church, Cookridge, Leeds.

Having a good tenor voice he also sang with a number of choral societies, including Leeds Festival Chorus and Leeds Philharmonic Chorus.

While at St James’s Church in Horsforth, he was involved with the local branch of Church of England Men’s Society, and was a leading member of the St Ninian Chapter of the Guild of Servants of the Sanctuary.

Mr Newby was also a member of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament and the Royal Society of St George.

His archive of papers which include family documents relating to their life in Horsforth, and to his time as chairman of the UDC are all to be donated to Horsforth Civic Society.

Mr Newby never married and did not have any surviving