George Cooke Armitage 1928-2012



1928. George Cooke Armitage was born to Leonard Armitage & Dorothy M Cooke Wakefield Dec 1928

geo3 .george-anne

George with sister Anne ~ 1932

~1940-1945. George Cooke Armitage would have attended Oundle School

~1945-1946. George Cooke Armitage did National Service with the Northumberland Fusliers .His mother was disappointed that he didn't take a commission.  He served in Berlin and was in a motor accident sustaining an injury to his hip which was always a source of pain  to him. 


George Cooke Armitage was born in 1928 at Wakefield and joined the family firm in 1947 after National Service with the Northumberland Fusliers. For the first few years he helped his father Leonard manage the Oulton and Woodlesford operation. By then the company had also expanded onto other sites at Lofthouse and at Howley Park in Morley.

After the clay at Woodlesford was exhausted another brickworks was opened at Swillington in 1952. It pioneered the transition to extruded brick making and tunnel kiln firing which transformed the company’s prosperity in the 1970s. By 1974 when they celebrated their 150th anniversary Armitage’s were producing 64 million bricks a year.

The chairman at that time was George Armitage- 1896-1979, son of George 1857 & Annie E Flockton - who had retired from a distinguished career as a consultant surgeon at Leeds General Infirmary. He fought at both the Somme and Passchendaele in the First World War for which he was awarded the Military Cross and bar.

Eventually in 1988 the firm was sold to Marshalls of Halifax and later to Hanson, but even today the name of Armitage survives in the brick making business through John Armitage’s descendant, David Armitage, who runs the York Handmade Brick Company.

George Cooke Armitage was educated at Oundle and maintained an interest in his old school throughout his life through the Oundle Society. He made a major contribution to the community in West Yorkshire being High Sheriff in 1987, and was an active member of Leeds Rotary Club and 
on Collingham Parish 
Council. He also served on the Wetherby District Cricket League Committee, and was a former president of Yorkshire Fly Fishers. He died in 2012.



1953. His engagement to Patricia Baer announced in The Yorkshire Post on 20/11/1953- FMP Newspapers

1954. George Cooke Armitage married Patricia Baer on 10/6/1954 in Holy Trinity Church, Brompton


Carolyn has their marriage certificate in Sydney


He worked for family business all his working life until it was sold to Marshalls when he retired.   It is thought that his father gifted him, as a wedding present,  the land on which he built Low Beck House. Involved with village life in Collingham Cricket Club, Parish Council.  Keen gardener and he planted many trees at Low Beck House

He was an active Old Oundelian and member of Leeds Rotary Club.  Took up salmon fishing after retirement and loved his trips to Scotland.  Also took up bridge after years of resistance - his mother and sister were really keen players. Drove fast cars and enjoyed good food and wine. " Loved Yorkshire and I believe sale of business, though financially positive,  was a loss to him in many ways. From the letters we received after his death he was held in esteem and affection by many of his employees.   Because it was a family business I remember a lot of build up around the time of the AGM - which seemed to serve as an annual family gathering.  I was  either too young or not interested at the time to be involved.Always had at least one dog.  We grew up with Dandie Dinmont Terriers.  He and Valerie had English setters.  Some of Dad's ashes are scattered in the garden of his home near the grave of at least one of those dogs".- Carolyn

1957. Carolyn J Armitage was born to George & Patricia in July - Leeds Sep 1957

Other children were: George Nicholas Armitage , born May - Leeds Jun 1955 & Suzanne Mary Armitage, born November - Leeds Dec 1961

1973. His wife, Patricia Armitage, died


1974. George C Armitage remarried Valerie Tibbles nee Ingram on 27/11/1974 . No children.  He moved to the Old Hall, Aldborough with Valerie about a year after they were married

1987-1988. George Cooke Armitage was High Sheriff of W Yorkshire 

** I have emailed his surviving cousin David Armitage for more anecdotes and pictures.  I also have a shortish 'autobiography' that he wrote but guess what ? - it's in Sydney..... this could have some more interesting things in it.


Armitage Family Reunion 1994



George ~ 80

2012. George C Armitage died

News Obituaries George Armitage GEORGE Cook Armitage, who spent more than 40 years in the six-generation family brick making business and was a former High Sheriff of West Yorkshire, has died aged 84.

Children of George & Patricia

1 George Nicholas Armitage b 28/5/1955 . Married Bernadette Jane Kirk on 3/2/1984 .
emigrated to Sydney Australia . Three children . Lucy Patricia b 19/3/1986 married David
Cox on 15/2/2013 - 2 children  Jamie George Cox  b 3/12/2012 and Wilco Charlie Cox born 25/9/2017; Benedict Michael b 24/6/1991; .Annabel Jane b 16/4/1993
2 Carolyn Julie Armitage b 22/7/1957 . Married Malcolm Alistair Greig on 30/4/1983 at St
Leonard's , Burton Leonard . Three children , divorced 1997 . Remarried Gerald Dew on
1/6/2000 , divorced 2011 . Charlotte Emma b 20/3/1986 , Robert George b 30/9/1989 ,
Sophie Louise b 26/2/1992 . Carolyn lives in Sydney .
3 Susanne Mary Armitage b 6/11/1961 . Married Nicholas Stephen Jones at St
Leonard's , Burton Leonard on 6/5/1989 . Divorced. Remarried Stuart Eon Macleod on
12/7/1997 at Stonor Arms , Stonor , Oxon . Two children . Joseph William Jones b
26/2/1990 . Alistair James McLeod b 22/1/1996 .


Armitage Index