Tributes to man who spent 50 years serving his village

Graham Jackson pictured after he retired from the parish council in 2005.
Graham Jackson pictured after he retired from the parish council in 2005.

Tributes have been paid to a former councillor who served the people of Crofton for 50 years.

Graham Jackson died at Pontefract’s Prince of Wales Hospice on Sunday aged 89 after suffering health problems.

Mr Jackson was known in Crofton as a Labour councillor for five decades, retiring in 2005.

He is survived by his wife Joyce, 87, their daughter Lorraine, 62, two grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

He was married to Joyce for 68 years after the couple met in Blackpool in 1946.

Mrs Jackson said: “It was what you would call a holiday romance. Our holiday romance lasted.”

The couple were married at All Saints Church, Oldham, in 1948, before moving to Crofton.

Born in Sharlston, Mr Jackson worked as a foreman joiner at Sharlston Colliery for 44 years.

He joined the Labour Party in 1953 and was nominated to stand for election to Crofton Parish Council in 1955.

He lived in Crofton for most of his life, and went on the join the governing bodies of all four village schools and help re-form the cricket team around 40 years ago.

Mr Jackson served on the bench at Wakefield Magistrates’ Court for 30 years, for five as chairman, and chaired the Central Council for Magistrates’ Courts Committees in England and Wales.

In 1983 he was awarded the British Empire Medal for his work for the coal industry and social welfare organisations.

And in 1995 he received the OBE from the Queen for his contribution to the magistrates’ courts.

Mrs Jackson added: “He did a lot for the village of Crofton.”

Labour MP Jon Trickett said: “I was very saddened to hear that Graham Jackson had passed away and I send my wholehearted condolences to his family.

“Graham was a hugely important member of the community and consistently fought for our area.

“He did so much for the local area and his achievements are testament to his dedication and determination.

“The community has lost a valued friend and campaigner. He will be greatly missed.”

A funeral will be held at Crofton Parish Church from 1.15pm on Tuesday, June 7, followed by a cremation at Pontefract Crematorium.