Platts, William B.D. (1909-1985)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

WILLIAM PLATTS: born at Birdwell on 17th November 1909. After training at Hartley College, and a year on the President’s List in the Newcastle upon Tyne District, he served in the following circuits: Gateshead (West) (Chairman’s Assistant), Berwick-on-Tweed, Edinburgh, Gateshead (West), Hull (St. George’s Road), Gateshead (East), North Shields and Cullercoats, Newcastle upon Tyne (Heaton and Wallsend), Hexham and Gateshead (South-West). 

He was a faithful pastor, approachable, helpful and wise, and also a meticulous and able administrator. He was kind and courteous, respected by all, while at the same time standing firm for what he believed to be right. The Fellside Church at Whickham is a memorial to his vision and determination, and it gave him great happiness to be a member of that church in his retirement. He was a deep thinker, who read widely and kept up his reading to the end of his life. 

His sermons were never shallow, and he loved leading Bible study groups, and the fellowship of local preachers. He also had a wide knowledge of history and archaeology, especially the history of Christianity in the North-East of England. But his learning was not dry, and was combined with a twinkle in the eye and a sense of humour, often expressed in stories told against himself. The sources of his strength were a quiet, deep faith in God, a love of the church and a happy home. 

He enjoyed the unswerving support of his wife, Gladys, and found great joy in his sons and grandchildren. He was proud to be a Methodist minister, and was looking forward to 1986 as the year when he and his brother Maurice (now in the United Church of Canada) would between them have served 100 years in Christian ministry. 

He died on 8th October 1985 in the seventy-sixth year of his age and the fifty-second year of his ministry.


William was born on 17 November 1909 at Birdwell, Yorkshire, to parents Harry, a colliery bricklayer, and Martha Ellen.

He married Gladys Martin (1913-1992) in the summer of 1938 at Gateshead, Co. Durham.

William died on 8 October 1985 at gateshead, Co. Durham.


  • Hartley
  • 1934 President’s List
  • 1935 Gateshead W
  • 1938 Berwick
  • 1940 Edinburgh Leith
  • 1942 Gateshead W
  • 1942 Hull, St George
  • 1949 Gateshead E
  • 1954 N Shields &c
  • 1959 Newcastle Heaton
  • 1965 Hexham
  • 1940 Gateshead SW
  • 1975 Gateshead (S)


Methodist Minutes 1986/78

W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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