Tributes to town archaeologist Bill

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A founding member of Pontefract Archaeology Society who helped preserve the town’s history over many years has died.

Tributes have bene paid to Bill Booth, who died on January 20 two weeks before his 86th birthday.

Mr Booth first got involved in archaeology as a student of Leeds University’s Extra-Mural Department after an increase in public appreciation of historical digs in the 1950s.

An archaeological society was then formed in Pontefract, with its title shortened to PontArc. Mr Booth encouraged younger members to get involved and many made names for themselves on digs around the country.

PontArc chairman Eric Houlder said: “In PontArc he leaves a thriving local group which still mounts excavations and surveys, publishing its work in monographs.

“Its membership includes several distinguished archaeologists on the national scene, something of which Bill was immensely proud.”

Mr Booth was also member and patron of the St Giles Pantomime Society and an Honorary Member of the Vulcan Club of the RAF Association.

His wife Jean died in 2015 and he is survived by his daughter, Karen, a son-in-law, Ian, and grandchildren Sarah and Samantha.

A funeral will be held on Tuesday, February 9, at 10.20am at Pontefract Crematoriam, then Pontefract RAF Club. Family flowers only. Donations to The Dogs Trust will be welcome.