Tributes paid to In Bloom chairman

Geoff Humble. 706245AM6)
Geoff Humble. 706245AM6)

Tributes have been paid to a volunteer who worked tirelessly to help create outstanding floral displays in Wetherby.

Wetherby in Bloom chairman of 25 years, Geoff Humble passed away, aged 75, in St Gemma’s Hospice earlier this month and mourners paid their respects at his funeral at Harrogate Crematorium last Friday.

Margaret Dabell of Wetherby in Bloom told the Wetherby News: “Geoff was an outstanding Chairman and will be much missed.

“Wetherby in Bloom will continue to enhance our town as a continuing tribute to Geoff.”

Speaking to the News in August, when he announced he was stepping down as chairman because of being diagnosed with stomach and oesophagus cancer, Mr Humble said he was proud of the group’s achievements. The town had been awarded the European Entente Florale gold award and the International Communities in Bloom.

“Perhaps the biggest achievement has been being able to maintain such a fantastic high standard of floral display year on year,” Mr Humble told the paper at the News time.

He praised the supportive committee, especially Margaret and added: “My style was to be a very hands on chairman involved with projects and doing things, which probably meant I put in a lot more time than I needed to, but I enjoyed it.”

Born in Newcastle Geoff moved to Wetherby in 1971 during his 33 year employment with BT.

His community work started when he became involved with Scouting, during which time he took his sons and daughter on scout camps.

But in June 1991 tragedy hit when his eldest son Ian was killed with his girlfriend in a car accident just outside Harrogate.

His Wife Mildred told the News: “He decided a year later to take early retirement but, believing he had to work at retirement as hard as he had worked at his job, he went to Leeds University completing a Psychology Degree and then teaching at Leeds Met for a decade.

“At the same time he took on the Chair of Wetherby in Bloom, the start of a 25-year dedication which saw the ‘In Bloomers’ win an array of National and International accolades.”

Mrs Humble added: “Geoff was awarded the Townsperson of the Year in 2008 to his amazement and secret pride – but what he really enjoyed was the pleasure of working with the community.

“He was a doer and an active person in relationships of all kinds.”

Geoff also enjoyed music and was a member of a guitar group for 26 years, playing at beer festivals.

He was a founder member of Welcome to Wetherby in 2012 and Chairman Cindy Bentley said: “He was very definitely a doer rather than a talker and you could always rely on him to come up with good, practical ideas.

“Like the rest of the team, he really cared about Wetherby and wanted to make it as attractive a town as possible for both residents and visitors.”

He also leaves daughter Kay and son Craig, grandchildren Calum, Olivia, Brooke and Nai’a and was father in law to Richard and Sam.