I was deeply saddened to learn late last month of the untimely death of Nick Rose, our former Chair and Friend of Middleton Park for over ten years.
Nick was there at the start when the Friends of Middleton Park were founded in 2003, and he has been with us ever since, with his legacy being the work of the Friends and the local community who enjoy the Park today. Of course that wasn’t all down to him, but as the Property Adviser to Wades Charity (the owners of the vast majority of the Park), he was in a unique position to help, and was drawn into the effort made to make a difference for the Park and the local community even though he didn’t live locally. I do hope that his wife Maureen, and family, forgive us for taking so much of what he gave at weekends on activities and events put on by the Friends!
I have been trying to put into words what my thoughts about him are…and I think I now have it, with the help of other Friends. Nick was a quietly spoken, gentleman campaigner for green space in Leeds.
I think that for me the one thing that I am already starting to miss like crazy is his ability to be able to find another angle to a problem, solution or a conversation. He was always able to add to my understanding, to add something to any event or activity the Friends undertook. Other Friends have similar thoughts. From one “Will remember him walking in the woods, looking for mining features, dressed in high vis arranging car parking or collecting large objects on litter picks”, and another “I worked with him for a talk about the work the Wade’s Trust does where I helped with his slides. Most efficient and creative, I found it a pleasure without stress”.
Nick was always willing to put himself forward for activities, especially where he thought he had knowledge or insight to share. So be-it the Archaeology Project that we won a highly commended for from the British Archaeology Awards, or the project to secure and use funding from Heritage Lottery Fund to make much needed changes to the Park, you always knew that Nick would be there, helping, supporting, and quietly leading.
I worked, or rather enjoyed life in the Park and at meetings all over Leeds, with Nick since 2006, when I joined the Friends, and for a number of years was Secretary to his Chair. I think we worked well as a team, where he quietly led and set the standards of care and ‘joie de vivre’ for the Park, for us all to follow. Nick was a “brilliant bloke”, “a loyal and committed Friend of Middleton Park”, who “demonstrated he was a Friend to greenspace all over Leeds who wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty”.
So rest in peace ‘gentleman campaigner’, and enjoy watching over the fruits of your work for years to come.
This post was written by Alan Shaw (Current) Chair of Friends of Middleton Park using our Create an article for South Leeds Life page.