JOE Tetley, a former Mayor of Morley and long-serving town politician, has died at the age of 80.
Born, brought up and educated in Morley, he worked as a farmer and milkman in the area before serving as an independent on the former Morley Borough Council from 1964 until 1974, when it was disbanded as part of local government reorganisation.
He was elected to Morley Town Council in 2003, initially as an independent and after 2007 as a member of the Morley Borough Independents. He was Mayor in 2003.
A keen local historian, Mr Tetley served as chairman of the Morley Community Archive Group. He occupied the post when the group set up a website featuring hundreds of old photographs and documents relating to the town.
He also chaired Churwell Action Group, led guided walks telling the history of Morley and was on the board of governors of Joseph Priestley College. As chairman of the Leeds branch of the Royal Society of St George, he was a driving force behind Morley’s hugely successful St George’s Day parades and argued that the day, April 23, should be a public Bank Holiday rather than May 1.
Among those pay tribute to Mr Tetley and his work at the heart of political and community life, was Morley Town councillor Gareth Beevers. He said: “Joe will be very much missed. He was really well-known in the town and was everyone’s friend. He did lots of work for people and Morley Town Hall was like his second home.”
Councillor Judith Elliott, who sits on the town council and Leeds City Council, worked with Mr Tetley for many years. She said: “Joe was the sort of person who led from the front. After 1974 Morley lost its identity a bit but after the town council was established in 2000 it got its identity back and Joe played a key part in that. He will be sadly missed.”
He leaves a widow, Maisie, a daughter and two stepsons.