Major Donald Henry Currer-Briggs

Local Councillor and Chairman of Methley UDC at the critical time of amalgamation in 1929, Donald Briggs was able to make his analytical presence felt when he turned round a strong proposal to amalgamate with Castleford and in place direct the Council to join Rothwell and subsequently Leeds MDC.

His background in this village commenced with the family (Briggs) ownership of  Savile pit along with  other mines and interests where he joined the board in 1918 after military service in the Royal Field Artillery.  Previously he had attended Charterhouse public school in Surrey.

  He was to become Chairman of the Company after being  Deputy Chairman and Joint Managing Director.  His titles included JP., MA., AMICE., and  membership of the Midland Institute of Mining Engineers where he was President for a term, along with membership of the Institution of Mining Engineers.  He also became President of the National Association of Colliery Managers in 1938.    He held a number of positions within the coal trade including sales and exports, he was also on the board of Martins Bank which was to become part of Barclays and a director of the Halifax Building Society.

He was a man of much influence with interests in mining, banking, shipping, textiles and transport. He was a West Riding Magistrate for 38 years and Chairman of the Wakefield bench.

He lived at Hazel House, Methley during most of his working life where he became a member of the urban district council.

Throughout his time, and like his predecessors he was an active Unitarian being a warden of Mill Hill Chapel in Leeds. He wrote an account of the family history which turned out to be a saga of commercial life of industrial Yorkshire, the work entitled ‘A Merchant, A Banker and the Coal Trade’ was published in 1972 two years before his death at Headingley Leeds.

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