Links in a Chain - the Mayors of Bolton
Links in a Chain - The Mayors of Bolton
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Thomas Billington

Chairman of Westhoughton Urban District Council: 1919-22, 1929-30 (Labour)

Born: Hart Common, Westhoughton 12 February 1873

Died: Salford 20 March 1952

Educated: Hart Common School; St Paul's School, Astley Bridge, Bolton; Chester Parochial School Training College

Schoolmaster - rose from being a pupil teacher to becoming Headmaster at Hart Common School, Westhoughton.

Son of Robert Billington, a grocer on Wigan Road, Westhoughton.

Cousin of John Cubbin, Chairman of Westhoughton UDC 1913-15.

Represented South Ward. Magistrate and Alderman.

Chairman of the Housing and Welfare Committees.

County Councillor march 1934. County Alderman 1948.

Member of the County Education Committee (including Vice-Chairman of School Health), Children's Committee (including Chairman of the Bankfield Home at Ainsworth), Health Committee, Biddulph Grange Hospital Committee and the County Records Committee.

Deputy Chairman of Bolton Planning Committee and also Chairman of South Lancashire and North Cheshire Advisory Committee.

He was interested in the social welfare of the young men of Hart Common village and took a leading part in the establishment of their Institute after the First World War.

The Housing Act of 1919 gave him an opportunity to develop his ideas and he travelled the country examining new houses and estates. The result was that Hindley's Estate came to be regarded as a model among early municipal housing schemes.

Another of his chief Council interests was child welfare and the development of the Sunny Bank Clinic. He also contributed to the preservation of Borsdane Wood and twice served as Chairman of the Joint Committee responsible for its maintenance.

In 1932 he was made President of the County Association of Lancashire Teachers and also served on the divisional education executive.

On one of his visits to Westhoughton, the County Archivist, Mr R Sharpe France, said the County Records Office might never have been established without the persistence of Alderman Billington and, whenever he had an hour to spare on his frequent visits to Preston, his fellow members invariably knew where to find him. Local History was his hobby and he travelled extensively in his desire to collect and collate the early records of Westhoughton.

Anglican - he was a member of Hart Common Mission Church. He played the organ there and was also in the choir.

His 19 year old son, Robert Gerrard Billington, was killed in action in during the First World War on 9 April 1918 in France while serving as a Lance Corporal with 4th Bn Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

Thomas BillingtonBillington Family Tree • pdf


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