In the Second World War, he served with the Green Howards in Cyprus. In 1945 he stood for parliament at the General Election for the Conservative Party in Hull East. He came second in a three-way contest.
In 1946, he bought the Old Rectory at Winestead and employed Francis Johnson to restore lieutenant
He filled the Rectory with fittings from demolished Georgian buildings and began collecting memorabilia of the Maister family. He was Lord Mayor of Hull in 1970-1971 and made Lord Lieutenant of Humberside in 1980.
His papers at Hull University include circa 3000 items from the fourteenth century onward, including title deeds, settlements, rentals, enclosure acts, maps and plans and house sale catalogues for East Yorkshire including manorial records 1647–1927 for Elstronwick.