|Phillip Sugden writes:
It is with very deep regret that we record the passing of Les Bloom, a long serving and much loved member of our Society. Les supported the Society over very many years, attending all its lectures and walks despite having to travel from Pudsey to these events, He was several times invited to be President of the Society but always refused due to his home location; however his long term support of the Society was recognised by the grant of Life Membership in 2007).
Les was the last of our members to have carried out field work with Arthur Raistrick whom he held in the highest regard, He together with John Busfield were known as the “Pudsey Boys” and accompanied Raistrick on many of his projects.
As a young apprentice engineer he was denied the opportunity to take up active military service because the team in which he worked were selected to build the watertight metal boxes which formed the Mulberry harbours for the invasion of Normandy, Later he lectured in mathematics to other young engineers at Bradford College.
Les’ first love was of the ancestry of the landed families of Northern England, Rarely could we pass a large house without being told precisely which member of the Percy, Neville or Clifford families has lived there and how and when the house had been won and lost, His second great knowledge and interest came directly from his work where, as a mechanical engineer, he seems to have installed, modified or removed most of the textile mill boilers in Yorkshire and Lancashire. I recall his becoming very excited on seeing an abandoned mill in Lothersdale which had a very special form of boiler which recirculated waste gas to heat the factory, Les was able to tell us who had designed and built it and which great house in York was built from the profits.
Les , you will be remembered with great affection for a long time to come.