Knicker trader's language legacy

8th June 2001 at 01:00
A West Yorkshire man who made his fortune selling underwear on a market stall has bequeathed nearly a quarter of a million pounds to encourage young people in his home town to learn a foreign language.

Norman Barnett died two years ago, aged 82, leaving pound;225,000 to establish a trust for the benefit of young people in the Dewsbury area. Now the Norman Barnett Language Trust has handed out the first grants to nine people under 24 to pay for courses or trave abroad.

Mr Barnett, a bachelor, sold underwear on Dewsbury market from the age of 14 until he retired at 80. The scale of his wealth astonished fellow stallholders.

He developed an appetite for travel in later life. One of his oldest friends, Billy Wilby, said: "He used to come back (from foreign trips) full of it and then went on to night school to learn languages."

For more details contact solicitors Disken and Co on 01924 464101.

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