Mexborough and Swinton Times March 26, 1937
Tribute To Retiring Clerk
Memorable Last Meeting
At the final meeting of the Bolton urban Council held on Tuesday, all the members present paid tribute to the retiring clerk, Mr J Ledger Hawksworth.
Ald G Probert, J.P., chairman and oldest member, said he wished to place on record their appreciation of the services of Mr J Ledger Hawksworth. From the beginning to the end of the Bolton UDC (1899 to 1937, March 31) Mr Hawksworth’s had served them faithfully as a clerk.
The council and ratepayers of the past had every reason to be grateful for legal expenses during the last 30 years and be very small.
Thanks to Mr Hawksworth’s sound knowledge of local government work the ratepayers of Bolton had been saved many thousands of pounds since 1899. In his capacity as a land buyer Mr Hawksworth was gifted with a vision of the future and so many possibilities, advantageous financially to Bolton, that others had failed to notice. Under is stimulus Bolton was one of the first councils in the district to have a live housing programme before the war. Both for the gas board and the connection with the Dearne light railway Mr Hawksworth had always acted in the right way at the right time.
Public health owed much to him. Ald Probert recalled early days at Bolton when in epidemics, infants were dying like flies. Bolton have improved their health services since then, and much of the good work was inspired by their clerk.
Ald Probert hope that Mr Hawksworth would live for many more years of happiness and prosperity and would not hesitate to revisit the Council chamber and give them all the benefit of his years of experience and advice.
Mr A. Fouchard seconded the vote of appreciation and said that Mr Hawksworth had not only being clerk of the Bolton authority but had performed many offices outside. He had been keenly interested in education. He was sure there were many people who had profitable by Mr Hawksworth’s advice.
Mr T Swift, supported the resolution, said he spoke with mixed feelings of pleasure and regret. He had always found Mr Hawksworth efficient, hard-working and honest. He wished to mention the clerk’s assistance to the ratepayers in financial work, for they had been saved an inestimable amount. Mr Swift recalls a great project of 1914 when they are discussed amalgamation a far larger scale and was now granted them, but that set out to make a county borough in the Dearne district. In conclusion he said Mr Hawksworth was, to his mind, a “fine old English gentleman.”
Mrs E Keaton struck a new note, by saying that what she had always like to Mr Hawksworth was his “fatherly” quality. During her period in office she had often gone to him for advice and never had she been refused.
Mr C.A.Ellis said Bolton – “born out of a swamp was now something like a modern town” – and much of its advance was due to the untiring work of Mr Hawksworth.
Mr Fred Hawksworth (clerk to the new Dearne District) said he knew the retiring clerk perhaps more closer than any of the councillors, and was glad to be to make a public declaration of his indebtedness to his experience and advice.
After more praiseworthy comments Mr Hawksworth declared he had reached one of the most difficult times of his life. He appreciated all the nice things that have been said because he was sure that they were all sincere. He thought it was never time to give up as long as there were things that needed remedy.
“I have taken, I take now, I shall always take a great interest in education,” he said.
The explanation was that his father took him away from school when he was 12 ½ and wanted to make his way former. Ever since then he stood up for pupils of schools and try to give them every advantage. It was a source of consideration pride to himself to see men that he had helped succeed in the world. Yours gratefully had the opportunity to help them.
Mr Hawksworth recalled with amusement some of the amazing things they had done for Bolton before the war. He remembers with the main road through Goldthorpe was 18 feet wide, with cattle grazing on both sides. They had the road improved and widened throughout the village at the cost of £4!
He was glad he could say that as far as he knew we had never done any action from a selfish point of view at all. His whole career has been devoted to local government and not to “sell.”
From the bottom of his heart he thanked the Councillors very very much both for their kindness of the past and the kind things they had said that evening.