I was very sorry to learn of Darrell Buttery’s death through your most sympathetic piece (Press obituary, August 1).

I knew Darrell over the years as he was a keen customer at Spelman’s bookshop, which I took over from Spelman in 1973.

His unflagging enthusiasm for all things relating to York was only matched by Hugh Murray.

I hope and trust that he has arranged a good home for his outstanding collection.

He was generous and kind and I remember with pleasure his making his house available one year for a summer party of over 100 for the Friends of York Art Gallery. His range of friendship was extraordinary and there is no one to replace him.

Peter Miller, St Oswald’s Road, Fulford, York


Rest in peace, Darrell

I was very sorry to hear of the death of Darrell Buttery. We were childhood friends in primary school and near-neighbours.

We spent many happy hours digging for ‘treasure’ in our back gardens - almost invariably fragments of clay pipes or shards of blue and white pottery.

In retrospect, I consider this a pointer to Darrell’s subsequent ‘collecting career’ which focused on art, artefacts, antiques, prints and books to do with York, resulting in a significant archive.

One treasured memory from the 1940s is of a red push-along locomotive with no pedals or steering, owned by Darrell, which was the envy of the street. I did quite a lot of pushing, occasionally being allowed to sit in the cab and be pushed. Not many years ago at a ‘do’ at Darrell’s he reintroduced me to this impressive toy which he’d kept for all those decades!

He generously ‘shared’ his collection with many by giving fascinating and entertaining talks about pieces from his trove, weaving in aspects of the York story in the process.

He also waxed mellifluous about one of his literary heroes, the Revd Sydney Smith, Rector of Foston in the early 19th Century, and a humourist, scholar and writer. Darrell’s readings of Smith’s works, with interjections capturing the nuances and subtleties, were a treat.

This cultured and witty diarist will be missed.

Derek Reed, Middlethorpe Drive, York