An eminent local historian and well known member of the Wharfedale community has died following a six-month battle with illness.

Margaret Warwick, of Burley-in-Wharfedale, died peacefully at the Marie Curie Hospice in Bradford on the evening of Tuesday, May 25. She was aged 79.

Mrs Warwick, of The Copse, was a pillar of the community in Burley-in-Wharfedale, having a significant role in several organisations and was the author and joint author of many books relating to the history of the village.

Together with her husband, Dennis, the couple were seen by many as “Mr and Mrs Burley-in-Wharfedale”.

Mrs Warwick was born Margaret Walker in Liverpool in 1930.

She met her future husband whilst they were studying at Durham University.

They moved to the area in 1962 when Dennis got a job at the Margaret McMillan College in Bradford.

Margaret’s degree was in history and she spent a number of years teaching at Burley and Woodhead School and at Prince Henry’s Grammar School in Otley before moving to Margaret McMillan College.

Outside work, she found time to satisfy her own appetite for knowledge of the history of her adopted village, whilst at the same time raising a family.

Margaret founded the Burley Local History Group in the 1980s, which evolved from a Workers Education Association tutorial class.

The group was responsible for numerous books and pamphlets. Other publications were co-authored with her husband.

Some were serious histories., while other were pictorial histories of the village.

She continued to be the archivist for the group until shortly before her death.

Probably the most celebrated of her publications, was “Eminent Victorians”, pub-lished in 1994, which focussed on the lives of famous Burley figures like the politician William Forster who was a senior Liberal Cabinet minister during the era of Gladstone, and after whom Forster Square in Bradford is named, and local industrialists the Fison family.

She was also heavily involved in several other organisations.

For more than a decade, she was a governor and then chairman of the governors at Burley and Woodhead Primary School.

She was a member of the Hockney Group, which prov-ides outings and a safe meeting place for blind and visually handicapped people.

Margaret was also a helper for Meals on Wheels and the Good Neighbours service.

She was an enthusiastic singer with Ilkley Choral Society, a supporter of Ilkley Concert Club and a regular at St Mary’s Church in Burley where she was part of the flower arranging rota.

Her final booklet, published in November 2009, was about the church, covering 200 years of the history at St Mary’s.

She was part of the Burley Gardeners Association and anyone who competed against her at the village show would be aware of her skills when it came to growing plants and baking.

She leaves husband Dennis, to whom she was married for 54 years, sons Phillip and David, daughters-in-law Debbie and Henrietta and grandchildren James, Rachel and Alice.

A memorial service will take place at St Mary’s Church, Burley, at noon on Friday, June 4.

There will be a retiring collection for Marie Curie Hospice in Bradford.