Tributes are paid to Otley-born park authority member

Wharfedale Observer: Bob Gale Bob Gale

Tributes have been paid to Otley-born Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority member Bob Gale.

Mr Gale, a Richmond District Councillor and a full-time fireman with the West Riding County Fire Service for more than 30 years, died at his home in Arkengarthdale last week, with his wife, Shirley, and sons Richard and Michael by his side. He was 68.

During his time with the fire service, he rose through the ranks to become station commander, specialising in fire safety, training and fire investigation.

Mr Gale and his wife moved to Arkengarthdale in 1996, where he became deeply involved in the local community and was a member of the parish council for more than 12 years.

Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority chairman Peter Charlesworth said: “We knew he was seriously ill but his death still came as a great shock.

“He became a member of the authority, nominated by Richmondshire District Council, in May, 2011 and immediately impressed everyone with his warm and friendly approach and his devotion and love for the national park, particularly Arkengarthdale, for whose interests he was especially concerned.

“He was always keen to support local people and residents, as well as being mindful of the importance of the Dales to visitors and, indeed, to everyone.

“His contributions to our debates and work were always valuable and he never fell out with those who expressed a contrary view, instead maintaining a friendship and respect for all which, in turn, was fully reciprocated to him.

“He will be very much missed and the thoughts of myself, deputy chairman Harold Brown – who was particularly close to Bob – and the other members are with his wife, his two sons and two grandchildren, and his close friends at this sad time.”

Mr Gale was born in Otley in 1945 and left school at 15 to become an apprentice mechanic, changing to begin his career in the fire service when he was 19.

His funeral service was due to take place yesterday, Wednesday, at St Mary’s Church, Arkengarthdale.

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