Farewell to a great Seahouses character

Bill Weeks at Seahouses harbour.
Bill Weeks at Seahouses harbour.
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The life of Bill Weeks, one of Seahouses’ great characters, was marked with a celebratory event at Bamburgh Castle on Monday.

The former lecturer, food expert, radio broadcaster, newspaper columnist and local councillor passed away last week at the age of 88.

A minute’s silence was held at last Monday’s meeting of North Sunderland Parish Council which he attended for many years as a parish and borough councillor.

Chairman, Coun Geoffrey Stewart, said: “I would first like to say a few words in recognition of the recent passing of one of our past members – Mr Bill Weeks.

“Bill enthusiastically embraced living in this area and served as both parish and borough councillor during his time living in our parish.

“His exuberant presence was always unmistakably announced by his loud and cheery greetings to all he encountered.

“A characterful person throughout his long and sociable life, Bill will long be remembered by those who knew him.”

He had regular slots on Radio Newcastle and Channel 4’s Good Food Show and was a columnist in The Journal where he was particularly vocal in his support for farmers.

A former Newcastle city councillor, Bill was also a member of the Showmen’s Guild which he was all too happy to talk about. He was also a founder member of the North of England Steam Traction Engine Society.

An ex-pupil of the Royal Grammar School in Newcastle, Bill was evacuated to Penrith, in Cumbria, during the Second World War. In 1947 he was accepted for a short service commission in the Army but cuts scuppered a career.

He joined Newcastle University in 1948 and lectured there in agricultural and food marketing for more than 40 years.

After retiring to Seahouses, he got involved in many aspects of community life, also spending many hours in the Olde Ship.

Following the death in 1984 of his wife Betty, mother to their daughter Jane, he married wife Alison, who had a young daughter Charlotte. The pair, later believed divorced, had a son, Joseph.