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‘Lynchpin’ of Ilkley community dies aged 70
9:30am Thursday 24th January 2013 in News
Tributes have been paid to an Ilkley community figure who has died at the age of 70.
Brian Bailey, pictured, a key figure in the revival of Ilkley Carnival and in organising the Ilkley Summer Festival, died on Sunday.
Mr Bailey, of Rupert Road, Ilkley, was also widely known as a member of popular local bands and was an active supporter of Ilkley Cricket Club.
He and his wife Miggy have both played significant roles in community events.
Mr Bailey’s family say they have received hundreds of messages of support and condolence. They said he was a family man who would help anyone and would be sadly missed.
Summer festival director Councillor Anne Hawkesworth described him as a “lynchpin”.
Born in Ilkley in February 1943, Mr Bailey attended Ilkley Grammar School, where his passion for the arts blossomed and he could be found performing in the School’s Dramatic Society.
As a member of the Sylvia Greenwood School of Speech and Drama, along with names such as Diana Rigg and Helen Weir, Brian continued performing at Ilkley Playhouse, Wharfedale Music Festival and Otley Little Theatre to name just a few. His opportunity to sing with a band came with the Tarantulas in his teens and later with Moldy Warp.
Mr Bailey and Miggy became involved with the Young Conservatives in the 1960s and organised many events.
Following their marriage in 1973 his energies were directed to his printing business and his family, Annabel, Abigail and Alex.
In 1989 Ilkley Carnival was revived and Mr Bailey played a big part in the running of the event, being responsible for printing and promotion for 13 years. He also played a large role in Ilkley Cricket Club’s activities.
When the printing business closed he became known as the Balloon Man when he started Gasbags, providing displays for companies throughout the UK.
His interest in entertainment continued with the promotion of events at the King’s Hall in Ilkley.
Mr Bailey’s funeral will take place at Christchurch, The Grove, Ilkley at 11.15am on Wednesday.
Donations can be made to the British Heart Foundation or Ilkley Cricket Club at the service, or may be sent c/o Christopher Binns, Golden Butts Road, Ilkley.