A MAN with the unusual distinction of being refused a visa by both the US and the Soviet Union has died.

Reg Hindley, a university lecturer who became a long-serving member of Oxenhope Parish Council, moved to the district when he was offered a post at the University of Bradford.

Mr Hindley, a retired geography lecturer, died in Airedale Hospital on June 10, aged 88. Although he was born in Eccles, Lancashire, he had lived in Oxenhope since 1964.

He and his wife Margaret were married for 62 years and the couple had two sons and two daughters. Mr Hindley also leaves behind 10 grandchildren.

Mrs Hindley outlined why her husband was refused a visa by the US and Soviet Union. She said the US refused him because he had been a Communist in his youth, an ideology he turned strongly against after he visited Communist Bulgaria.

“The Soviet Union wouldn’t give him a visa because there were Russian students attending the university he lectured at and they thought he was trying to subvert them!” she said. “It was something we laughed about.”

Mrs Hindley said she first met her future husband in 1947 while she was studying history at Leeds University. Mr Hindley was there as a geography student.

She said he spent two years in the Royal Air Force as an education officer for his National Service. As a lecturer he worked in Exeter, Manchester and Grantham before coming to Oxenhope after he was offered a post at Bradford University.

“He fell in love with the countryside here and didn’t want to leave,” said Mrs Hindley.

“He loved walking. Although he did write books he was more into talking and getting out to see places and meet people.”

Tributes were paid to Mr Hindley at the latest monthly meeting of Oxenhope Parish Council. Council chairman Cllr Ken Eastwood said: “He ran right through Oxenhope like it was a stick of rock. If you could cut Oxenhope in half you’d find his name inside it.”

Cllr David Ashcroft said: “He was a key fixture and part of the village, and many people would have come across him through the walks around Oxenhope he led and the books he wrote. He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of most aspects of Oxenhope. I was always struck by how every time I asked a question of Reg he’d be able to bring forward yet another layer of knowledge and information. He will be very sadly missed.”

Mr Hindley had been a member of Keighley Philatelic Society, until the group folded in 2013. Among his written works were books about his adopted village, including an illustrated walking guide called “Exploring Oxenhope: Where to go and what to see”, and an earlier more historically focused book – “Oxenhope: The Making of a Pennine Community”.

He also had a keen interest in languages. He wrote a book entitled ‘The decline of the Irish language, a qualified obituary’ in 1990. He served on the parish council for more than 20 years until 2015, including a stint as vice chairman. Following a private cremation, a thanksgiving service will be held at Oxenhope Parish Church on Monday.