Tributes to former Bassetlaw councillor and teacher who has died aged 82

Tributes have been paid for a former Worksop councillor and Mayor of Retford who has died.

By Kirsty Hamilton
Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 11:07 am

Former teacher Martyn Cleasby passed away peacefully at Red Rose care home, in Newark, aged 82.

His wife of 31 years, Gabrielle, has described him as supportive and selfless, and quick to make a G&T for her after she returned from work.

Friends have expressed the notable Worksop man as “larger than life”, and that he will be remembered for his “big-hearted personality and his gift for enjoying life.”

Martyn Cleasby as Mayor of Retford pictured with wife, Gabrielle Cleasby.

He was full of passion for his community, classic cars and sports – and was a lifelong supporter of Sheffield Wednesday.

Originally from the Barnsley area, he served his community for 20 years and taught languages at Worskop College for 24 years.

Martyn served as a district councillor for both Worksop North East and Retford East between 1976 and 1996, and was Mayor of Retford between 1991 and 1992. He was also twice the Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Bassetlaw.

For a time, Martyn was the chairman of the planning committee at Bassetlaw District Council and was always keen to preserve the villages and green belt land.

Martyn Cleasby was a Bassetlaw councillor spanning 20 years.

Martyn was born in Darfield and attended the village school where his father was headmaster, and then Barnsley Grammar School.

He went on to study at Durham University, graduating with honours in French, and German as his subsidiary subject.

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He used his languages to travel Europe and the US as a salesman and manager in the steel industry.

He later went into teaching where he was described by former students as “inspirational”, and that his “guidance and advice were indispensable”.

Martyn taught French and German at Worksop College, and passed on his love of languages to his students.

Paying tribute, Colin Paton, the former head of modern languages at the college, and housemaster of Talbot House said: “Martyn was a highly talented teacher of French for many years at Worksop College.

“He made a very significant contribution to the broader life of the school and I am proud to have known him as a fine schoolmaster, a great colleague and a loyal friend.”

Martyn took early retirement in 1997 and had always maintained contact with the college and former colleagues and pupils.

Current Headmaster of Worksop College and Ranby House, John Price, said: “It is with great sadness that we learn of the passing of former member of staff, Martyn Cleasby.

“It is evident from Martyn’s loyalty to the school, having served for 24 years, that he touched the lives of many students. My deepest sympathies go to Gabrielle, Patrick, Morgan and the wider family.”

Martyn and Gabrielle moved to rural South West France in 1999 before returning to the UK eight years ago and settled in Newark.

His health gradually declined over the last two years and he passed away on July 22.

Martyn leaves behind Gabrielle, and two sons, Patrick and Morgan, by his first wife, Sue Ledger. He was proud of their achievements and equally proud watching the progress of his grandchildren.

Martyn’s funeral will be held at Sherwood Forest Crematorium, New Ollerton on Thursday August 12, at 3.30pm,

Donations to Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance in memory of Martyn can be made online.His tribute page is on: