Neil Newby, Bridlington harbour commissioner

Neil Newby, who has died at 88, was a long-serving harbour commissioner in Bridlington and a former Chief Lord of the Lords Feoffees charitable trust in the town.

Neil Newby
Neil Newby

He had arrived there from Great Yarmouth as a 14-year-old, with his two brothers, he recalled in The Yorkshire Post six years ago.

“They jumped ship and finished in Bridlington. My father was a fisherman in the winter, but in the summer he would switch to pleasure boats.”

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Pleasure boat rides were hugely popular on the Yorkshire coast after the Second World War and at one time there were half a dozen. But business began to float away in the 1960s and 1970s, as holidaymakers looked to warmer climes abroad.

The miners’ strike didn’t help. At one time, families from the collieries would arrive in Brid en masse, stay for a fortnight and go out in fishing cobbles.

“At one time we were as thick as the corn in the field with pleasure boats, but many of them have now gone,” Mr Newby recalled.

He had served as a harbour commissioner since 1975, and his knowledge of it was questioned by no-one. Rifts between the independently-run facility and the council were a matter of record, but no-one questioned either that Mr Newby always had the town’s best interests at heart.

He was also a renowned breeder and trainer of gun dogs.