LOCAL history and archaeology groups will mourn the death of Pat Carroll, one of the founding members of the Upper Wharfedale Heritage Group and a leading figure in the study of the landscape and history of the Upper Wharfedale area in recent years.

She died from coronavirus on Wednesday, April 22, in Airedale Hospital, the same hospital she spent the last two decades of her working life.

Pat was born in Horsforth in 1944 and grew up in Guiseley and Baildon. She went to Bingley Grammar School and later trained at Leeds Polytechnic where she specialised in histology.

She worked as a medical laboratory scientific officer for the NHS for 39 years in the pathology labs of Keighley Victoria Hospital, St Luke’s, Bradford, and latterly for 19 years at Airedale General Hospital. She took early retirement in 2001.

Taking the opportunity to pursue an interest for many years in the landscape and people of the Dales, in retirement she and her husband of 50 years, Phil, enrolled on a course in British Archaeology at Leeds University run by the School of Continuing Education. When the university closed the department in 2005, Pat and others from the course determined to continue the research they were enjoying by founding the Upper Wharfedale Heritage Group (UWHG), with the guidance of Dr Roger Martlew. Over the years, Pat took many leading roles in the Group, acting as secretary, treasurer and chairwoman on several occasions, organising lectures and displays.

Pat joined in practical archaeology and field survey projects, first at Kingdale on a project led by Dr David Johnson of the Ingleborough Archaeology Group. Over the years, together with her husband, Pat worked with Dr Johnson on over seventeen archaeology projects. Dr Johnson recalls how Pat was always keen to join in his projects saying: “She was committed, worked in a totally professional way. She knew what had to be done. I was content to leave her to it because I knew she was fully competent and would work in a professional manner.”

Dr Roger Martlew who worked with Pat for many years added: “Pat always set herself high standards, and the skill and experience that she developed made her an invaluable member of survey and excavation teams on a variety of projects in Upper Wharfedale and the Ingleborough area.”

Vera Brearey of the UWHG said: “Pat was a driving force, an organiser, fast to learn. She wasn’t an expert when she started but she became one. She was full of enthusiasm for the landscape of Upper Wharfedale .”