A former Ilkley Middle School headteacher has died aged 83.

Harold Baker was headmaster of the school from its inception in 1970 until his retirement in 1991. He suffered from Alzheimer’s in later years and died on Saturday following a short illness.

Mr Baker was born in Windhill in 1928 and spent his childhood in Sutton-in-Craven.

After National Service, mainly in Palestine and the Suez Canal Zone, he got his BA in economics at Leeds University and qualified as a teacher in July, 1953. He was deputy head of Sutton Primary from 1958 to 1960, when he became headmaster of Ings Primary in Skipton. He also became president of the local National Union of Teachers (NUT) association.

Mr Baker enjoyed singing and was a leading player in the Keighley Operatic and Drama Society until his appointment to Ilkley Middle School.

After his retirement, he became a life member of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), sat on the foundation governing body of Ilkley Grammar School and was a regular member of the club for professional businessmen, Probus.

Mr Baker was also a keen hiker and tackled the Pyrenees, Madeira and the Azores with his wife Patricia, walked the mountains of Scotland and covered much of the Dales, often accompanied by his son, Tim, and brother-in-law, Ed.

Mr Baker also leaves behind three step-children, three grandchildren and four step-grandchildren.

A funeral will be held on Monday, January 30, at Skipton Crematorium at 11.40 am.

Donations can be made in lieu of flowers to Macmillan Cancer Support care of H Eaton and Sons Funeral Directors, Ashlands Road, Ilkley.