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Saturday, 27 December 2014

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Tributes are paid to Carlisle lift operator

The man who spent many years operating the lifts in a department store in Carlisle has died.

Harry Cheeseman photo
Harry Cheeseman

Related: The Cumberland News interviewed Harry Cheeseman last November, read Cumbria's best-known lift operator enjoying life at another level

Harry Cheeseman – known to generations of Cumbrians as ‘Harry off the lifts’ – passed away in the city’s Cumberland Infirmary on Monday.

From the 1940s to the 1980s his was one of the most familiar faces in Carlisle as he operated the lift at Binns – now House of Fraser – in English Street. He retired in 1993.

Harry, 83, had recently been living at the Good Companions Care Home in Silloth.

Jayne Seaton, head of care at the home, paid tribute to him yesterday.

She said he would be a “big miss”.

“He had such a big personality and was very social,” she said.

“He had been fine until a few days before his death. He was admitted to hospital with a chest infection and slight pneumonia but he died of a cardiac arrest.”

Harry’s funeral takes place on Thursday at 1.30pm at St John’s Church in Houghton.

Speaking to the News & Star in November last year, Harry said he had loved his job which allowed him to meet lots of people and have “a bit of a talk”.

Harry was born in 1928 and grew up in Harraby.

His father was a railway guard and his mother a dressmaker.

He attended Brook Street School in Carlisle and had stints at Hudson Scott and Underwoods before joining Binns in 1949. Harry was lift operator for 32 years then porter for 11.

After retirement he travelled widely, including trips to Canada, New Zealand, Brazil and China, where he walked part of the Great Wall.

Harry used to sing with Carlisle Choral Society and was often heard playing the music of Gilbert and Sullivan in his room in Silloth.

Have your say

I have just been on holiday to Turkey. I had been talking to a couple from Carlisle and i asked them if they remember the man who operated the lift in Binns. And they told me of his death. He was a very lovely man, what memories.I loved going because i know i would get a toy tractor from Binns.

Posted by Warwick on 30 June 2012 at 20:05

god that takes me back!! lovely man a memorial is a perfect idea.

Posted by l campbell on 24 April 2012 at 11:58

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