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Tribute to life of shipyard stalwart Norman Acaster
A FORMER colleague of a North Yorkshire shipbuilding boss has paid tribute to him following his death.
Norman Acaster, 88, was managing director of Cochrane’s Shipyard, in Selby, for more than ten years and was a key figure behind its recovery from receivership in the late 1970s.
Ken Marshall worked alongside Mr Acaster as production director at the shipyard from 1974 until Mr Acaster’s retirement in 1987.
He said: “He was quite a character. A very, very experienced shipbuilding man. He spent his life in shipbuilding.
“He had really great experience and was well regarded in the industry as being a hard working and honest man.
“He was a good guy to work with.”
Mr Acaster’s wife, Jean, and son Peter, were among the launch party of the tugboat Lady Theresa, shortly after Mr Acaster retired. Mr Marshall said Mr Acaster had spent most of his life in the East and North Yorkshire area.
Mr Acaster lived in Goole while he served his apprenticeship as a naval architect, then moved to Howden, where he lived until about two years ago when he moved to the Connaught Court Care Home in York.
Mr Marshall said: “He was very instrumental in instructing the company to be bought from receivership in 1976 and re-establishing itself as a stand-alone business. I think he was really the main reason. I think the company got involved because of his vast previous shipbuilding experience.
“He was probably the person with sufficient experience to do that. That meant the company continued and employed more people. I think it would be fair to say he was very instrumental in that happening in 1976. It effectively saved the shipyard and kept people employed for many years.”
Mr Acaster’s funeral service (for family and close friends) was taking place today, at 10am, at Connaught Court Care Home in York. It was being followed by cremation at York Crematorium at 11.40am. A memorial service was taking place at Goole Parish Church, at 1pm.