A man who helped to shape Brighouse

Roy Feather (left) and Peter Clack, then branch manager at the Nat West Bank in Brighouse
Roy Feather (left) and Peter Clack, then branch manager at the Nat West Bank in Brighouse

MR Roy Feather, a man who helped change the face of Brighouse and worked hard to bring about significant improvements in the town, has died at the age of 80.

Mr Feather, who lived in Guiseley, was the driving force behind regeneration projects in Brighouse in the 1990s and used his contacts and business acumen to bring about lasting changes.

His legacy can still be seen today in the canalside walk alongside Bethel Street car park, which was opened by Prince Charles in 1991, the new outdoor market and the Sainsbury’s store which occupies the site of a derelict mill. He also encouraged the improvement of town centre properties with shops and banks getting facelifts and buildings being stone-cleaned.

Tributes have been paid to Mr Feather by members of the 3Bs - Build a Brighter Brighouse - which he helped to set up and by officers at Calderdale Council who worked with him through Calderdale Inheritance Project.

In 1994 he was honoured with an MBE for services to the community in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. He was pleased to claim that MBE stood for ‘mentioned in the Brighouse Echo’.

Born in Haworth, Mr Feather had 30 years’ experience in the brewing industry before being seconded from a top job at Webster’s Brewery, Halifax, to lend his expertise to Calderdale Inheritance Project in 1989. He started work in Brighouse in 1990 with a mission to lead the economic regeneration of the area. At the time he said his aim was “to remove the grey image of the town and create a much more pleasant environment in which to live, work and shop.”

Mr Nick Yates, former chairman of the 3Bs, said Mr Feather had made a lasting impact on Brighouse. “He was a really nice guy with a genuine interest in Brighouse. He was not just a figurehead, he got things done for the town. He had the idea of forming the 3Bs to work for Brighouse and kept in touch with us after he retired in 1998.”

Mr Bill Terry, secretary of the 3Bs, said: “Roy made a lasting difference to Brighouse. He was able to raise £50,000 for the canalside improvements which was matched by council funding and he worked closely with the market owners on the improvements there. He had great experience and, if there was a job to do, he got on with it.”

Mr John Hodgson, business support team leader for Calderdale Council, said Mr Feather was “a guy who got things done”. “He was always easy to work with and had a wealth of experience to draw on,” he said.

Mr Feather was married to Rae and the couple had two children and six grandchildren. The funeral was held today, Friday, at Rawdon Crematorium.