Real Lives: William dedicated his long life to people of Armadale

William Ferrier, a respected former Armadale Provost and an active member of his local community council, has died, aged 96.

Born in 1913 and brought up in Armadale, Mr Ferrier attended Armadale Primary School and later Armadale Junior Secondary School.

In 1930, when he was 16 years old, he was awarded an apprenticeship at Armadale's Atlas Steel Foundry, and spent the next 47 years working as a steel moulder.

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As an active trade unionist, he worked towards improving the lives of his fellow foundry workers, in particular, campaigning to raise awareness of conditions such as pneumoconiosis, silicosis and chronic bronchitis.

A town councillor for many years, Mr Ferrier became Armadale Provost in 1955 and in the same year he had the honour of meeting the Queen.

He served as Provost from 1955 to 1958, and then again from 1971 until 1975.

Mr Ferrier will also be remembered as a founding member of the Armadale Community Council.

His friend and colleague, Alec Horne, joined the community council in 1995 when Mr Ferrier was still chairman.

"I learnt a lot from William," he said. "He was determined and had great knowledge about the community."

Mr Ferrier's wife Jane sadly passed away in 1999 but he remained involved in the local community.

When Mr Horne became chair in 2003, Mr Ferrier remained in the community council as his vice-chair.

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Mr Horne said: "He was always 100 per cent supportive of me and I am sorry to see him go. I had a good experience with Willie."

He was also a keen musician and he enjoyed playing the cornet with the local band.

Mr Ferrier was still active in both the Unite trade union group and community council up until the age of 96 when, in early 2009, he suffered from ill health.

He then moved to Kingsmead nursing home in Aberdeen to be closer to his daughter Muriel.

West Lothian councillor, Isabel Hutton offered her condolences to Mr Ferrier's family, daughter Muriel, son-in-law Jack and granddaughter Caroline.

She said: "He was dedicated to the community council and put Armadale at the heart of everything he did. It was a pleasure to work with him."

The History of Armadale Association has also paid tribute to its dedicated and long-serving member, saying that Mr Ferrier would remain an important person in the history of Armadale.

He died on 10 December, 2009 at Kingsmead Nursing Home in Aberdeen.

His funeral was held at Armadale Parish Church on 19 December.