Mr T Geoff Willey, 17 August 1911 – 24 May 2015
Geoff was a key player in helping to form the Ponteland Photographic Society. He was appointed Chairman at its Inaugural Meeting in 1978 and elected President the following year, a position he held until his death at the age of 103. Photography always played a major part in Geoff’s life and until his retirement he ran a professional studio in Ponteland Village. Geoff was delighted to see published a biography relating tales from his life and his continuing interest in photography. It is entitled “Ryedale In My Heart” as some of Geoff’s precious memories centre around the Ryedale Folk Museum in Hutton-le-Hole in North Yorkshire with which he has been associated since the 1920s.
Geoff was still a frequent visitor to society meetings at his 100th birthday. Here are a few words from Mike Sadler;
“Geoff has been so supportive of our Society and has been very grateful for the way the committee has grown it in recent years. Despite his deafness he came along to our meetings whenever possible right up until his 100th Birthday. Geoff has been an active supporter of the Ryedale Folk Museum at Hutton le Hole, North Yorkshire since its inception and he intended that all of his historic professional camera equipment and prints be housed and displayed there. One of the buildings in the Museum is already dedicated to his life and career in photography and it was a great occasion when Geoff officially opened it a few years ago. Ryedale Folk Museum has an exhibition dedicated to Geoff and his work. There are examples of his equipment and photographs on display. Click here for more details
Geoff was a real character and we’ll miss him. Here are a few photos from the Ryedale Opening and one I took on his 101st Birthday.”