Active Methodist and Rotarian dies, age 78

Michael Crabtree with the vandalised windows at Hebden Bridge Methodist Church
Michael Crabtree with the vandalised windows at Hebden Bridge Methodist Church

Michael Crabtree, a prominent Hebden Bridge Rotarian, member of the Methodist Church and ambassador for the Society of Dyers and Colourists has died of heart failure, aged 78.

Michael was born in Hebden Bridge and lived in the Calder Valley for most of his life. He went to school at Stubbings and Central Street, before finishing his education at Halifax Junior Technical School. On leaving, he joined the family dyeing business, Clay & Crabtree at Wood Top. During his spell of National Service with the RAF he married Marina and then returned to the family business; later he worked for the Central Dyeing Company in Hebden Bridge, starting on the shop floor and eventually becoming the company’s Managing Director. When Courtaulds closed in 1981 he took some temporary work in Dundee before returning home and becoming mill manager at Moss Bros Dyers, Eastwood, from where he retired, in 1999. Following the untimely death of Marina he married Joan in 1987, who passed away in 1990.

In 1961 Michael joined the West Riding Fire Service as a retained fire fighter and rose to the rank of Station Officer in Hebden Bridge, before retiring from the service in 1981.

Michael was a Chartered Colourist and Fellow of the Society of Dyers and Colourists. He was an active member of Hebden Bridge Rotary Club and was president in 1993. He was also a prominent member of Hebden Bridge Methodist Church where he was treasurer. He had also been steward of Upper Calder Methodist Circuit.

Michael was a loving father and grandfather and will be sadly missed by his daughter and son in law, Carol and Graham, and his many friends in the Calder Valley and beyond. His funeral takes place at Hebden Bridge Methodist Church on Monday, February 4, at 10.45am. No flowers. Donations to the RNLI, via funeral directors Robertshaw Greenwood.