A mainstay of a number community organisations in Appleby, including the Royal British Legion, who ran the poppy appeal in the Eden Valley area for many years, has died, aged 90.
David Slingsby Holder, of Margaret’s Way, Appleby, was born on 14th August, 1930, to parents John and Mary Holder, in Hutton-in-the Forest, and grew up in and spent all his life in various areas around the Lake District.
He was the middle of seven children in the Holder family and on his 14th birthday he left school and started work at Thomas McGhie’s, now known as British Gypsum, as an apprentice blacksmith.
His father had to teach him how to ride a bike, in order for him to get from Knock to Kirkby Thore to work. When he was first apprenticed, horses still worked on the surface at the mine, and his job included making the buckets, which carried the mined gypsum from Birkshead mine to Kirkby Thore on overhead cables.
David did his two years National Service, and actually enjoyed it — he said he thought about staying on and becoming a regular, but the money was rubbish, compared to what he was getting at McGhie’s, and as they had to keep his job open, he went back there after he was demobbed, and stayed there for 46 years.
In 1955, he married his sweetheart, Maud, and together they had three daughters, Chris, Sue and Judy.
They started their married life in Dufton Rectory then moved to Great Asby for about 10 years, before finally moving to and settling in Appleby.
Now that he lived in Appleby, David threw himself into community organisations, becoming a member of the Eden Valley Lodge of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes, or Buffs as they are known for short, on 10th July, 1968, and over the years he rose to prominent positions in the organisation, being elevated to the highest degree attainable in a Minor Lodge, that of Roll of Honour.
He took over the office of secretary in 1983 until 1991, and in the mid-70s, he attended the Penrith and District Provincial Grand Lodge, and was installed in 1978 as president of the Knights Chapter.
In 1982, he was installed as Provincial Grand Primo; this was followed in 2002, by a second term in charge.
In 2003, again he was installed as president of the Knights Chapter; in 2013 he was president of the Examining Council; and in 2014 he was roll of honour Assembly president;. This completed a “full set” of provincial offices.
He was also an active member of Appleby Royal British Legion becoming president, and for many years, together with his wife, they ran the Poppy appeal in the Appleby Eden Valley area.
He regularly led the march to St Lawrence’s Church on Remembrance Sunday.
He adored his wife, celebrating 65 years of marriage, his girls, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren and will always be remembered by them as someone who was loving and affectionate, and truly a gentleman and a gentle man.
He passed away peacefully on 7th January, after succumbing to a sudden and aggressive form of cancer; a funeral service was held at Beetham Hall crematorium on Wednesday.
Donations were received in his memory for Cumberland Infirmary oncology department. Glyn Jones Funeral Directors, Battlebarrow, Appleby, had charge of the arrangements.