Recognition for Geoff’s work in the community

Geoff Smethhurst was a member of Belle Vue Community Association and helped make improvements to the canal side and Fall Ings Lock.
Geoff Smethhurst was a member of Belle Vue Community Association and helped make improvements to the canal side and Fall Ings Lock.

A plaque has been unveiled in memory of a man for his dedication to improving the area and the community close to Fall Ings Lock.

Geoff Smethurst died last year after losing his battle with cancer at the age of 80 and his community commemorated his life with the dedication last month.

Belle Vue Community Association Secretary Neil Phillips described the hard work Mr Smethurst did to improve the area he loved to walk family dog, Jay, and fish in.

He said:”Fall Ings was his passion and he did his best for it.

“When he saw littering he really did care, he helped arrange litter pick ups and bins being put in.”

Mr Smethurst also started a campaign to protest the lack of consultation over a plan for a cycle path running along the side of Fall Ings Lock.

When he became too ill to continue working on the upkeep of the area residents were touched to see friends and others from outside the community stepping in to continue his work.

The plaque in unveiled during the ceremony is only temporary.

But plans are in place to create a more permanent one which will eventually be placed on one of the bins Mr Smethurst managed to have put in place.

Mr Phillips said that Mr Smethurst would appreciate the sentiment of his memory being honoured in this way.

His family were able to attend the dedication with brother Johnny, son Barry and daughter in law Samantha all present. Mr Bellamy’s grandaughter Leah also attended the ceremony.

Funding for the plaque was provided by the WDH, Wakefield Council, Belle Vue Community Association and the Canal and Rivers Trust who Mr Smethurst spent one summer working with.