THE funeral has taken place of a long-standing Ilkley resident and former headmaster of Ghyll Royd Preparatory School, the Rev David Newman.

Mr Newman and his wife, Anne, moved to Ilkley in 1966 from Bristol, to enable him to take up the headship of Ghyll Royd, where he remained until 1979.

During Mr Newman's time in the post, there were significant changes in the structure of independent education. The importance of boarding declined and the average age of pupils in preparatory schools dropped. The minimum age for entry dropped by a year to four years in 1972, and preparation for entry to grammar school dropped from 14 to 11 years of age.

Mr Newman had to oversee the rebuilding of the sports pavilion in Stourton Road playing fields after a fire, at a cost of £950. He also created the Ghyll Royd School Association, which raised funds through sponsored walks, disco evenings and buffet dances. And he oversaw the introduction of a science laboratory and gymnasium.

During his time in Ilkley, Mr Newman and his wife were actively involved in Ilkley Baptist Church, and he served in the Ilkley Council of Churches, as well as in the local activities of the Scout movement.

At the end of his teaching career, Mr Newman's life took a new direction, which saw him managing Easby's, the gents outfitters in Leeds Road, Ilkley.

Mr Newman was a committed evangelical Christian and this saw him in later years go forward for training for ministry in the Baptist Church, which he undertook alongside a part-time pastorate in Sabden, near Clitheroe.

When he eventually retired, he moved with his wife to live in Daventry, Northamptonshire, to be nearer their family. There they became involved in the life and activities of the local Methodist church, and Mr Newman exercised a continuing ministry in retirement in the local Methodist circuit, until ill-health ended his active involvement.

Mr Newman passed away on April 26, aged 83. A sizeable congregation attended his funeral on May 13 in Daventry Methodist Church, testimony to the affection and appreciation he was held.

He is survived by his wife, Anne, his two sons, Iain and Stuart, and six grandchildren.