Display in John’s memory in Keighley

Keighley News: Keighley Campus manager, Debbie Fletcher (left) with Gill and Rick Battarbee at the display in memory of Gill’s dad, John Parkes Keighley Campus manager, Debbie Fletcher (left) with Gill and Rick Battarbee at the display in memory of Gill’s dad, John Parkes

A former Rolls Royce employee who studied in Keighley has been honoured with a commemorative display at Leeds City College Keighley Campus.

John Parkes, who died in 2010 aged 95, was a student at Keighley Technical College during the late 1930s, where he studied mathematics for engineering. This led him into a career at Rolls Royce and a lifelong passion for mechanics and engineering.

In acknowledgement of his love for the subject, his family have donated an annual bursary of £500 to the college, to recognise the achievements of its students.

Mr Parkes’s daughter and her husband, Gill and Rick Battarbee, were joined by other friends and family, plus campus staff, to unveil a display in the college atrium, which tells the story of his life and his engineering interests.

A college spokesman said: “After studying at Keighley Technical College – now Leeds City College Keighley Campus – and working at engineering works in Addingham and Bolton Abbey, Mr Parkes went to work for Rolls Royce, producing Merlin engines for Spitfires in the Second World War.

“During his lifetime, he suffered ill-health, which forced him to leave engineering, choosing instead to open a newsagents and toy shop in Ilkley with his wife. But he never lost his enthusiasm for mechanics and engineering.

“The bursary is given to students who’ve achieved highly in the field of mechanics or engineering, or have made an outstanding contribution to college life.”

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