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12:44pm Thursday 2nd June 2011 in Obituary
An “unsung hero” of agricultural technology and respected Ilkley musician and conductor recently died at the age of 84.
A memorial concert is to take place at the Clarke Foley Centre on July 15 as a tribute to Stanley Evans, who passed away on May 13.
Mr Evans was best-known locally for his creation and contribution to The New Horizons orchestra, for the Over 50s.
But his family says he never received the public accolade he deserved for pioneering agricultural methods which may have averted widespread starvation or crippling debt in post-war Britain.
When the country was facing the threat of starvation amid food shortages after the Second World War, Mr Evans developed a farming technique for increasing the yield per acre of potatoes five-fold.
From there, the method was spread to other crops, firmly steering the country away from an impending food shortage crisis.
Mr Evans’ work did receive some recognition within the Ministry of Agriculture, where he carried out his research.
He was known to most in Ilkley, where he lived for more than 40 years, for his contribution to music in the community. His long service with the New Horizons Orchestra was honoured last year when he attended the Queen’s Garden Party.
Mr Evans conducted the orchestra for 23 years.
In his musical career, he played and taught oboe, and played with several orchestras, a swing band and put together orchestras for amateur theatre productions.
He could play cor anglais, piano and double bass, encompassing musical styles ranging from opera to jazz.
His family said: “From increasing potatoes five-fold an acre, to creating an orchestra that has now more than 50 members, he led a full and highly-productive life, and having passed away on May 13, he will be sadly missed by many people.”
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