Obituary: Saul Woodrow, engineer

Saul Woodrow, who has died at 92, was an engineer and inventor who also helped to revive interest in the work of his older brother, the reclusive Leeds artist Joash Woodrow, now regarded among the most significant British names of the late 20th century.

Saul Woodrow in his brother's attic

Saul Woodrow, who has died at 92, was an engineer and inventor who also helped to revive interest in the work of his older brother, the reclusive Leeds artist Joash Woodrow, now regarded among the most significant British names of the late 20th century.

A man of many interests, Saul Woodrow was credited with the development of a number of radical wind-powered machines, and also managed to construct the wings of a full scale Jodel aeroplane in his garage.

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He was also a talented keyboard player and a Labour supporter who stood as a municipal election candidate.

But it was his efforts on behalf of his brother that brought him most recently to the public attention. During the 1990s he and his wife, Sylvia, began making frequent trips to the family home in North Leeds to look after the increasingly solitary Joash.

Following a fire there and Joash’s removal to a care home, Saul came across an attic full of 700 paintings and 3,000 drawings which represented his brother’s hitherto unseen life’s work.

The discovery led to a series of retrospective exhibitions at Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds University, Manchester Art Gallery, The Ben Uri and The Fine Art Society. Joash’s work is now considered highly collectable and is held in an increasing number of public and private art collections worldwide.

A play about him, The Resonance of Seclusion, by Liz Postlethwaite, was produced at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester.

Joash died in 2006, at 78.

Saul, who was one of eight children brought up in a family home in Chapeltown Road, Leeds, is survived by Sylvia, son Simon and daughter Alison.