Public figure who also helped set college on course to current status

John Royston Moore

John Royston Moore receiving his CBE in 1983

First published in News by

The man who headed Bradford’s health authority during a turbulent time has died at the age of 92.

John Royston Moore was chairman of the authority for several years – including the period which saw the controversial ‘occupation’ of a geriatric hospital threatened with closure.

Mr Moore was also a former head of Bradford College, steering it through years of major change from 1959 to the mid-Seventies.

He served as a Conservative councillor in his home town of Baildon and with West Yorkshire County Council. He was the last Conservative leader of WYCC before its abolition in 1986. In 1983, he was awarded the CBE for services to the community.

Mr Moore was born in Manchester and after university went into teaching. He was appointed principal of Bradford College in 1959 at the age of 38.

At that time, the college was spread over more than a dozen sites – including a church hall. With the help of a strong team, Mr Moore set the college on the road to becoming the education facility it is today before retiring in 1975.

As Health Authority chairman in the 1980s, he faced the uproar which greeted plans to close the 82-bed Thornton View hospital. The authority received many letters of protest, a 30,000-name petition and opposition from the three main political groups on the city council. Eventually, unions occupied the building – excluding the management.

The then Government finally approved closure in 1984 and the occupation ended in 1985 after 21 months.

“It was a testing time for my father,” said Mr Moore’s son, Andrew.

The family lived in Baildon, with Mr Moore occupying the same house until shortly before his recent admission to Bradford General Infirmary.

“He was fiercely independent,” said Mr Moore.

A widower, Mr Moore and his wife, Dorothy, had two sons – Andrew and Stephen – and a number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

“He was a good public servant who worked very hard for the community,” said Mr Moore. “He had his politics and other work and was a lovely family man who will be much missed.”

Mr Moore died on February 3 in Bradford Royal Infirmary after a short illness. His funeral takes place at Nab Wood crematorium at 2.40pm on February 14.

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