Local Keighley community champion Charlie Bhowmick MBE visited Bradford City Hall last week to present copies of his book to the Lord Mayor of Bradford.

As part of the occasion, he also presented copies to Keighley Councillor Adrian Farley and another for the city of Bradford.

Charlie’s book “From Calcutta to Keighley” is a biography which encapsulates the packed and colourful life of the 81-year-old, who has become synonymous with fundraising, campaigning and inter-faith relations in the town.

Charlie came to Keighley as a 17-year-old in 1954 to study mechanical engineering at the town’s college.

He served an apprenticeship with George Hattersley & Sons, but he left in the 1960s to join the old borough council and later spent two decades as a Bradford Council town planner in Keighley – until his retirement in 1994 when he threw himself into number of local community initiatives.

He was awarded the MBE in 2005 for his services to race and inter-faith relations.

(L to R); Cllr Adrian Farley, Lord Mayor of Bradford, Cllr Zafar Ali, and Charlie Bhowmick MBE

Charlie spoke about the book and his visit to city hall: “Writing this book has been one of the most exciting adventures in my life.  I’ve received many letters and telephone calls congratulating me on writing it, and understand that copies of the book have found their way all over the world.

“The visit to City Hall to present my book to the Lord Mayor and Cllr Farley has been one of the highlights and I’d like to thank them for hosting me.

“I enjoyed my time working with the Council and am pleased that they now have a copy of my book for future generations to hopefully enjoy. It’s a great honour.”

Cllr Adrian Farley, who represents Keighley-West ward said, “We were delighted to host Charlie at City Hall. I’ve known him for a number of years and he’s a remarkable man with an amazing story. The work he’s done in the local community and for Yorkshire Cancer Research especially is exemplary.

“I’d urge Keighley-locals, and indeed residents from all over the district, to seek out Charlie’s book and give it a read – it’s a great story.”

Lord Mayor of Bradford, Cllr Zafar Ali, said: “It was an honour to be presented with a copy of the book from Charlie himself. He’s done so much good work in the Keighley area and is a much-loved local figure. We’re proud to be able to add his book to our collection and I wish him all the very best in whatever he decides to do next.”

The copy of the book presented to the city will added to the Local Studies and West Yorkshire Archive collection stored at Margaret McMillan Tower where items  can be accessed by the public by appointment.