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St Peter's 13-18

Hugh E D Little

Dronfield 1963 – 1968

Died 26 September 2013, aged 63

Hugh Little was born in Whitby on 9 May 1950, the middle child of Dr John David Little, a former medical student of Oriel. At the age of four, his family moved to Darlington where Hugh spent his formative years with his parents and his two sisters.

He completed his schooling at St Olave’s and St Peter’s which is when he began to develop his strong faith. Following this, he read Politics at Nottingham University, before returning to Darlington to begin his working life as a newspaper reporter on the local evening paper. After three years there, he married and left the paper to read Theology at Oriel. It was during his time at Oriel, while exploring a possible vocation to ordained ministry, that he first met David Hope, former Archbishop of York, who was at that time the Principal of St Stephen’s House, Oxford.

Hugh then returned to reporting in Hull and later taught religious education at a school in West Yorkshire before moving to Ilkley in 1985 where his daughter was born. Hugh immediately became an active member of St Margaret’s Church, Ilkley, raising a great deal of money by various means.

Events organised by Hugh include a celebrity auction, which involved writing to every public figure he could think if to ask for saleable items. Those he approached included Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, Terry Waite, Spike Milligan and Maggie Smith.

Other events organised varied from an Elvis impersonation evening, publicised by Hugh appearing in the local paper dressed up as Elvis, much to his family’s horror, to Burn’s night suppers, complete with piper, which were held for many years.

He was an enthusiastic volunteer in Christian Aid week and was probably the best house to house collector in the parish. He went back every night of the week until the residents probably just gave in and answered the door with their donation.

When David Hope retired as Archbishop of York, Hugh was delighted to learn that the ex-Archbishop was to become priest-in-charge of St Margaret’s.

Hugh collaborated with David Hope to write ‘Better to Travel Hopefully’, a diary of Father David’s time as priest at St Margaret’s which featured many Ilkley residents and whose publication was awaited with some trepidation by those same residents.

Over the years Hugh pursued various careers, his final post being with the Employment Service in Leeds. He loved the Lake District and had several articles published in Cumbria magazine. He derived a great deal of satisfaction in raising money for the Church and other charities and showed much kindness to those who others in life might simply ignore.

Hugh died on 26 September and is survived by his wife, Linda and his daughter Sarah, a chemistry graduate of St Hilda’s, Oxford.