Ron Farrar

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RONALD Farrar – better known as Ron – left school at 15 to join Barclays Bank, rising through the company to become chairman of the bank’s Local Board in Yorkshire.

In that position, he promoted the bank’s involvement with a number of organisations in the region, including Opera North and the British Olympic Appeal.

He was chairman of the trustees of the United Leeds Teaching Hospitals and treasurer of the West Yorkshire Branch of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families’ Association (SSAFA). He also served as chairman of Harewood Parish Council.

Mr Farrar, who has died aged 82, was born and brought up in Bradford with two younger sisters. Albert, their father, was a foundry worker and then a mechanic at Newbolds Bakery.

He went to Tong Street Primary School then Carlton High School, passing the entrance exam for Hanson Boys School. The first child in his street to do so, the neighbours turned out to see him in his school uniform.

He obtained his School Certificate and was a member of the Army Cadets.

The leader of the cadets was a Major Taylor, manager at Girlington branch of Barclays. He recruited Mr Farrar into the bank at the age of 15, his many tasks to include lighting fires in the manager’s office at Girlington and also the sub-branch at Thornton, a daily journey which he made on the branch bicycle.

From 1946 to 1949 he did his National Service with the Royal Artillery and was promoted to Sergeant, rejoining Barclays when he was demobbed.

In 1954 he married Barbara Gledhill who worked in the bank’s Foreign Branch - but they had met at Bradford’s New Vic Cinema and Ballroom.

Two years after his marriage, Mr Farrar was seconded to Barclays Bank DCO in the Gold Coast, and following Independence which saw the creation of Ghana, he was appointed manager of Accra Branch.

He returned to the UK in early 1958, and worked in several Leeds branches, becoming manager at King Street before taking a role at the Barclays head office in London.

Mr Farrar then returned to Yorkshire in 1981 to take over from Owen Rout as chairman of the Local Board.

He formally retired in 1988 but remained a member of the Local Board until 1992, by which time he had completed 48 years’ service.

Continuing his relationship with Barclays, he was appointed the President of the Leeds Branch of the Barclays Pensioners’ Club, which was a position he maintained until his death.

A hard worker, he was a man who took his pleasures seriously.

He played golf, being a member of Alwoodley Golf Club. But his passion was fly fishing, his very favourite waters being on the River Eden in Cumbria, inspiring him to buy a small cottage in the Eden Valley when he retired.

He was a member of Yorkshire Fly and of Huby Anglers, whose accounts he audited the week before he died.

Beneath a sociable personality, however, lay an uncompromising streak.

A stern judge of character, he was blunt and short tempered – and invariably right.

Mr Farrar is survived by his wife Barbara, their daughter Anne, their son Richard, three grandsons and his sister Shirley.