From Elizabeth Ogborn, Louise Abdy and Nina Smith
Our friend Colin Crossley died suddenly and unexpectedly on March 6th, aged only 64. He is sorely missed by his many friends and customers – many of whom are the same people.
Colin came to live in Eaves, Hebden Bridge in November 1987. A civil engineer by profession, he had previously worked in other locations in the UK, including Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis and Caernarfon in North Wales. In June 1996 he left his civil engineering role and went to live and work in Canada.
Colin returned to Hebden Bridge in September 2000 and decided to set up as a handyman rather than go back to an office environment. Those who didn't know him will have been familiar with his white van, signwritten "Home Maintenance", with "I always call back" next to his phone number. That summed Colin up.
Colin was totally reliable and trustworthy, a hard worker who would also respond quickly if you had an emergency, however minor it might have seemed. He was a godsend to those of us with few practical skills who are useless at DIY. He helped people with their lives. One friend described him as "an accompanist".
He had formidable practical skills, and could do just about anything. Colin had great warmth and kindness and was great company, and one could rely on him for a good chat, whether he was working in your house, or you were together at a party. He had a great sense of humour. We so miss him and his friendship.
Colin loved the great outdoors, and was always at his happiest when outside. He was a hill walker and climber and had many adventures in Scotland, North Wales, the Lake District and the Peak District. He also had a strong interest in industrial archaeology. Going for a walk with Colin was always interesting, informative, and above all great fun.
He returned to walking once he had recovered from a broken leg sustained whilst tripping on one of our many local footpaths. He kept himself fit, which made his sudden death so much of a shock.
His time in the outdoors wasn't just about his own enjoyment. From 2014, in May each year, he provided invaluable road support (and many other kinds of help) for a group of his friends who were cycling in stages around the coast of the UK. Colin became an integral part of these trips and everyone benefited from his kindness, humour, and resourcefulness.
Colin, in his own quiet and unassuming way, was a remarkable person - the sort of person whose life forms part of the glue that binds small communities like ours together. He is already profoundly missed, and we will never forget him.
26 April 2022
As a long standing customer of Colin's, I will miss him terribly. Whenever I had some kind of practical problem in my house, it was to Colin I always turned. He was a great problem solver who could turn his hand to almost anything. Always pleasant company while undertaking his tasks, someone I was happy to have in my home. As was mentioned more than once during his funeral service, "a lovely man". RIP Colin, you leave a big gap in many lives.