HIS speciality is telling the story of his hometown Batley, but last Wednesday – Yorkshire Day, August 1st – the spotlight was turned for once on journalist and historian Malcolm Haigh.
The man who has been – and remains – a fundamental part of almost every civic group in the town over the past 70 years, was ‘ambushed’ by both family and friends old and new at Batley Library.
Fooled into thinking he was going to a meeting, Malcolm was met by a rousing rendition of ‘On Ilkley Moor Baht’at’ before finding himself the subject of a special ‘This Is You Life’.
The event was timed to celebrate exactly 40 years since Malcolm published his first book, The History of Batley.
Conducted by Celia Moorhouse from Friends of Batley Library, and organised by library staff, memories and tributes were paid, along with a rendition from The Gondoliers and poems dedicated to one of the town’s most famous sons.
Finally Malcolm was presented with his own big red book, a celebration cake made by Nix Catering and Cakes and a portrait painted by Steve McGrath, while Kirklees Mayor and fellow Batelian Coun Gwen Lowe stopped by to add her congratulations.