Obituary: Derek ‘Chip’ Woodhead

Today I received very sad news that a long time friend had passed away. I felt compelled to write down a few words about this great man…

I first met Chip during the early 1980’s and a more robust, honest and principled man you could never wish to meet. In addition to his profound sense of professionalism and integrity he was above all a friendly and loyal man with a wry and wicked sense of humour and the owner of a dry wit, a factor always evident by the sparkle in his eyes.

As many will know Chip devoted 28 years of his life to the community of North Yorkshire as one of their finest police officers. He first worked in the Whitby and Ryedale areas and latterly in the Bedale and Richmond areas and for several years he was the village bobby at Crakehall (Bedale). He subsequently worked within the North Yorkshire Police force control room and at Police Headquarters after retirement as an officer.

His devotion to serving the community was boundless and continued both outside of working hours and continued long after retirement from the force.

As a continuum and further evidence of his desire to serve, he sought election as a Governor to the South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust in 2009, in support of election he said;

… I can communicate with people from all walks of life. As a Counsellor and First Contact in my previous employment, I have the ability to listen to people who need help or want change and can represent them when required.

He really was an excellent listener and eloquent communicator, a fine source of solid and sound advice.

Chip enjoyed painting, writing, keeping fit, singing and being a local Methodist Preacher in the Bedale Circuit. He took an active role in several local Charity Committees and had previously been a local school governor when his children were in education.

Chip had previously combated cancer and was also registered disabled however; his own health problems and difficulties never stopped him trying to serve others. In his NHS Trust note he also said; “As a governor I believe I can give something back”.

Chip my old mate you always gave 110% to the community; you will be sadly missed and can now take a very well-earned rest in peace!

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