David Anthony Armitage: [Heath 1951–1957]

[Mike] David Anthony Armitage was born on in Halifax. He attended Moorside Primary school, where his father was Deputy Head Master. He then attended Heath Grammar school. It was during this time he met Kaye, whilst they were walking into town after school, Kaye being at Princess Mary School. They have been together ever since.

[Andy] David and Kaye were married at Highroad Well Church on . Stephanie was born the following year. Joanne was born in 1966, the family then moved up to Alice. Michael & Andrew were both born whilst in Scotland in 1968 and 1970 respectively.

We all have special memories of the many family holidays, mainly in France and Portugal. David was a very supportive father. From helping with homework to supporting our extracurricular activities, we could always rely on Dad to be there for us. He also led by example — great sporting attitude, dedication to work and impressive drinking prowess!

[Mike] One particularly foggy Saturday morning, I was playing goalkeeper for the school 1st XI football team. It was quite a dour game and I didn’t do much. I was a little disappointed not to see Dad, but I blamed his absence on it being such a bad day. However, when I got home, the conversation went something like this:

Dad: Whilst I was watching you, I thought that you had put on a bit of weight, but you did make a really good save.

Now, I was about 16 at the time and was about 9st wet through, and like I said I didn’t do much in the game. So I said:

Erm, thanks Dad. Which game were you watching?

Dad replied: Well, the first pitch where you were playing.

To which I said: Well that explains a lot, you were watching the 2nd XI; we were on the top pitch, but thanks for coming anyway!

[Andy] One Saturday evening, when I was 14, I bought eight cans of lager prior to a school trip, having drawn the short straw to get the beer for myself and some friends. As I left the shop, I triumphantly held up the bag of cans towards my friend, who was waiting on the corner. Unbeknownst to me, at exactly that moment, David was passing the shop on the way to Queens Sports Club with Kaye. My friend was now frantically gesturing that someone was behind me.

I then heard my Dad’s booming voice, What have you got there then?

Eight cans of Carlsberg Dad.
How did you manage that when you’re 14?

I gave the shopkeeper a note saying you had a broken leg, I feebly replied.

My Dad then said to me, I’ll see you tomorrow, and then stormed into the shop with the bag of cans. The next morning, I was extremely worried about how Dad would react. Michael assured me it was a bad one and I was going to get real bollocking.

When Dad finally got up, after what felt like ages, to my surprise he didn’t seem too angry. He asked me why I was buying the beer, and after I explained about the forthcoming school trip. He told me he was very disappointed in me.

After I had mumbled my most grovelling of apologies, David went on to explain that his biggest disappointment was the note, particularly the fact that I had spelt Carlsberg wrong.

That evening, David opened one of the cans, poured himself a glass, then let me finish the can.

[Mike] David “left” Heath School in the Lower 6th after I term and took up an apprenticeship at Halifax Power Station, North Bridge. He also worked at Elland & Ferrybridge power stations while studying at Leeds Polytechnic to become a qualified electrical engineer. In 1966 David wanted to progress his career and transferred to Kincardine Power Station. In 1972 there was another career move, which took him to Hartlepool Nuclear Power Station where, in 1973, he achieved chartered electrical engineer status.

After seven years of construction delays, he left the CEGB and became Head of Services and Primaries at ICI, Huddersfield, often bringing work home with him. In 1987, David was promoted to Assistant Works Manager, to do this he had to return to Scotland, to ICI Grangemouth. With retirement creeping up, David wanted to return to his roots and returned to ICI Huddersfield, before then concluding his career working alongside Hugh Donaldson at Holiday Chemical Holdings, retiring in 2000 aged 60.

[Andy] David was a sporty and sociable person. He was Scoutmaster at Highroad Well Church in his teenage years. David also played cricket for Warley as a wicketkeeper/batsman. He played rugby as hooker for Heath School, Heath Old Boys and at Ovenden Park. David joined the Round Table and remained a member for over ten years, becoming an integral member of every club he was involved with.

Whilst in Middlesbrough he took up squash and continued to play local cricket. Always keen to try new things, he bought a Mirror class dinghy moored at Runswick Bay to learn to sail with Stephanie and Joanne. They only managed to get out a few times, capsizing in the middle of the bay on one occasion before it was wrecked along with many other boats at the sailing club by a bad storm! This brought an end to a short lived sailing career!

[Mike] He continued to play squash in Halifax, becoming a member of Queens Sports Club and took up cycling, joining a local group. He re-joined West End Golf Club, formerly being a member in his youth. He progressed to be the Club Captain. His highest achievement was persuading Kaye to play golf, who then went on to become Ladies Captain! They enjoyed many years of golfing holidays on the Algarve entertaining friends and introducing them to Quinta do Lago Country Club.

[Andy] Not one to be idle, on his retirement, David became a governor at Crossley Heath and, through Rotary, did mentoring at Ling Bob primary school with his Iong-standing friend Malcolm Barron. David and Malcolm also regularly wandered the Yorkshire hills and dales. David enjoyed many worldwide cruises with Kaye, partially inspired by tales of his father’s sorties in the Merchant Navy during the Second World War. They went to Canada and Alaska, Norway, Australia and New Zealand, Iceland to see the Northern Lights, finally South America and Antarctica.

Sadly, in 2014, David was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and slowly declined over the next six years, ending with his peaceful death in December 2020. I think it's fair to say that David always had a lust for life and he thoroughly enjoyed the one that he had lived.

Andy and Mike Armitage

David A. Armitage was born on the in Halifax to David and Grace; his brother Martin came a few years later. His father was Head at Warley Town School. David was scoutmaster at Highroad Well church for much of his teenage years and a keen sportsman playing cricket at Warley, golf at West End and rugby at Ovenden Park. After Heath Grammar School he was apprenticed at the Halifax power station and later moved to Alloa to work at the power station at Kincardine. Whilst there he joined the Round Table and the local golf club, which he really enjoyed. His next move was to Middlesbrough; he worked at the nuclear power station at Hartlepool.

In 1977 he moved to the private sector and became manager of the power plant at ICI Huddersfield. He returned to Halifax with the family. The job was perfect for him. When the miners’ strike was threatened, he stocked up with coal which lasted for the duration of the strike. He was then asked to look after one of the chemical processes in addition to the power plant. Then he was asked to take on the management of the catering department. There were a lot of changes at that time and David was in the thick of it. He was promoted to Deputy Works Manager; however, the downside was that he was obliged to make many employees redundant.

David retired from ICI/Astra Zeneca and soon after was offered a position with Hollidays dyes and chemicals further down Leeds Road. After he retired he continued as a member of Halifax 41 Club and in 1999 joined Halifax Rotary Club. He was a member of West End Golf Club eventually becoming Captain and a member of the Development Committee. In addition he served as a Governor of Crossley Heath for six years, and Ling Bob for one year. He was a keen walker and he and I walked most Tuesdays as well as completing longer challenges.

David leaves his wife, Kaye, and his children, Stephanie, Joanne, Michael and Andrew.

Malcolm Barron