Charles Moss

CHARLES Moss, a noted valuer and auctioneer who had a large practice in West Yorkshire and a zest for life, has died aged 82.

Charles Moss
Charles Moss

He was a flamboyant, larger than life character with a capacity for making lifelong friends, and was well respected in the business world building with partners a successful firm with branches across the county.

He was born at Outwood, near Wakefield, the youngest of four children of Charles Wilde Moss and Beatrice Moss. His father was colliery manager at Lofthouse Colliery and after retirement was variously a publican, newsagent and greengrocer.

Mr Moss senior had retired from the colliery before the pit disaster of 1973 which claimed the lives of seven miners, but had kept in a drawer at home some redundant plans of an abandoned part of the mine which had been thrown out. The men who died had been working in a new area next to the abandoned one. On the day of the disaster he turned up at the pit gate with the plans which were used in the unsuccessful bid to save the miners.

Charles Moss was educated at Rothwell Grammar School before becoming articled to Wakefield auctioneer and valuer Hubert Laidlaw. He then worked for Jackson-Stops and Staff in York before returning to Laidlaws.

When Hubert Laidlaw retired, Mr Moss and two partners bought the business and expanded it, at one time having seven offices across West Yorkshire.

Mr Moss’s expertise was in petrol station valuations and in the 1950s and early 1960s he had the contract for the French petroleum company Total, representing their business in the North of England –an area from the Bristol Channel to the Wash and up to the Scottish Border.

In later life, Mr Moss’s work as a residential property valuer included all the major bank and building societies.

He did his National Service with the Army, serving mainly in Edinburgh with Scottish Command, undergoing teacher training and teaching new recruits who could not read or write.

A keen sportsman he represented Scottish Command at Rugby Union once playing at Murrayfield, the home of Scottish Rugby, although his real interest was Rugby League being a life-long season ticket holder with Wakefield Trinity.

He also gained his driving licence in the Army after showing his instructor some nifty work. Driving an Army laundry truck on Edinburgh’s Princes Street he found the Coronation Parade travelling towards them. His instructor said if he could escape from the route he had passed his test.

Mr Moss was a keen ballroom dancer which is how at Wakefield Assembly Rooms he met his wife Cynthia, whom he married in 1957. She worked as a seamstress for Kingswells, in Wakefield, and they shared the same birthday, although he was a year older.

Until her death 11 years ago, they were the life and soul of any social event, whether at Wakefield Golf Club where he was known for his colourful clothes – Rupert Bear yellow trousers, bright blazers and trademark bow ties – or Round Table.

They loved music and, combined with their passion for dancing, were regular club-goers in their earlier years. At Batley Variety Club they once shared a table with a group of young men from London, who later went on the stage where the compére introduced them as The Rolling Stones.

They were members of Round Table, and later 41 Club, and regularly joined international weekend visits to twinned № 47 Round Tables as far afield as South Africa and Finland.

He was also a keen cyclist and took regular excursions to the Dales and Moors, also with people who would become life-long friends.

Mr Moss lived life to the full almost until the day he died. He continued to manage his own property estate and, although having lost a foot two years ago following an illness, continued to drive and play golf with his regular Tuesday crowd at Wakefield Golf Club.

 He is survived by his sons Stephen and John, three grandsons and a granddaughter.

His funeral service will be held next Thursday (May 8) at 12.45pm at St Helen’s Church, Sandal Magna, Wakefield.