Stephen Wilkinson Master 2015–2016

The Master takes up his year in office having recently retired after fifty years in the family business. He left school in 1962 and joined his father in the village butcher’s shop, seven miles north of Leeds. After a slow start, he realised that he had a great appetite for learning the business and it soon became an all-encompassing passion which took over his life, or perhaps, more accurately, became his life. His father recognised this talent and, when Stephen was twenty three, bought him a busy town street shop in Horsforth.

(Or, in Stephen’s own words, had he had just enough of ground breaking ideas and hair-brained schemes and just wanted to return to a quiet life?).


Over the next few years, the business grew, opening shops in the market towns of Otley, Wetherby, Knaresborough and Ilkley. The business is now run by his son Joseph, supported by daughter Kate. Stephen joined the Gild in 1998 and has been our treasurer since 2005, unusually without previous experience of the Court of Assistants. He is a strong supporter of the York Guilds’ Waggon Plays and can be relied upon to provide waggon pulling and pushing muscle, as pictured here from the 2010 production.

He met his new partner, Christine, four years ago and they have a very happy life together. Christine runs her own farm accounting business. Their mutual hobbies are travel, theatre, rambling and the great outdoors.