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20th Century Characters

Don Beilby

Probably the most visible person in the village, notwithstanding that his 6’ 3” frame has been on view in some capacity for 60 odd years or more. Don is most likely best known for his long service with the church choir. He describes himself as a second tenor, however he can choose to sing above his normal tone giving the choir an added range. Singing has played a significant part in his life -he was a founder member of the Rose & Crown Glee Club which was to become the Methley Male Voice Choir.

Don started work as a delivery boy for Braimes butcher’s shop, a job that put him immediately in the public eye. His height certainly dictated his posting to the military police during national service. Work as caretaker at the new school and undertaking gardening work in the Methley area meant that he wasn’t out of sight for very long despite working a ten year stint at the copper works in Leeds.
With his long stride he was even more conspicuous during his stretch (10 years) as a postman in the village along with assisting as gravedigger when required.

The church has enjoyed and benefitted from the tall presence of Don Beilby for over 60 years now. He has played many roles but one that he was probably most prominent with was that of bell ringer, you didn’t see him, but you certainly heard him on Sunday, morning and evening alike. It is here that I have to admit that along with Terry Barrett we were given the sack by Don in 1956 for eating chestnuts whilst trying to tug the ropes in sequence. He is still a big feller today when he kindly declines to remember the occasion.

Sadly Don departed this mortal world on the 18th May, 2014.