Links in a Chain - the Mayors of Bolton
Links in a Chain - The Mayors of Bolton
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David Dingwall

Chairman of Turton Urban District Council: 1965-66 (Labour)

Born: Gateshead, Durham 18 September 1918

Died: Bolton General Hospital 17 April 1986

Educated: Sunderland; St Andrew's School, Ramsbottom, Lancashire

Left school at 14. Worked in the chemical industry but mainly as a greengrocer.

Represented Bromley Cross Ward on Turton Urban District Council.

He was the sole Labour Councillor on Turton UDC for 17 years.

Chair of Turton Sports Council.

Lancashire County Councillor, serving on the Health and Education Committees.

Greater Manchester County Councillor representing Darcy Lever cum Breightmet and Great Lever 1973–1977, serving on the Police and Airport Committees.

Bolton Metropolitan Borough Councillor representing Darcy Lever cum Breightmet Ward 1973-1980, Kearsley Ward 1980-1982 and Central Ward 1983-1986.

Chairman of Education and Arts Committee when comprehensive education was introduced in Bolton.

Magistrate Lancashire County and Bolton until 1986.

Chairman of Bolton Institute of Higher Education - a large oil painting was commissioned by BIHE after his death. It depicted him with four hands and was hung in the Board Room.

Member of other government bodies: Chair of Lancashire Examinations Board and AMA.

Member of Old Peoples Welfare Committee.

Member of Town Twinning Committee.

Member of Bolton Festival Committee and involved with the Scouts.

Labour Party Chief Whip, Bolton. Chair of Bolton District Labour Party 1973-1986. Labour Election Agent- Darwen, Bolton East (3 times), Bolton North East.

Methodist and pacifist. Member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

He was a member of Radcliffe Harriers in his youth.

In 1996 his widow, Vera, married David Young, Labour MP for Bolton East 1974-1983 and MP Bolton South East 1983-1997.


From the Bolton Evening News 28 September 1987

"Stunned silence greeted the unveiling of an official portrait of late Bolton Councillor, David Dingwall.

In the painting commissioned in his memory by Bolton Institute of Higher Education HE HAS

Four arms
A green hand
A crumpled suit
A bulging, red neck
And a window in his forehead

David Dingwall panting

There was a collective intake of breath when Director of Education Brian Hughes unveiled the portrait - which one onlooker described as "looking like an obscure Eastern deity." - in the boardroom at Bolton Institute of Higher Education. But, once the shock had worn off, family and former colleagues of Counc Dingwall were enthusiastic about the painting." He wasn't an ordinary man and this isn't an ordinary portrait," said his widow, Mrs Vera Dingwall. "It's a bit of a shock at first, but it grows on you. He wouldn't have wanted a traditional portrait and I think he would have liked this." His successor as Chairman of the Education Committee and of BIHE's Board of Governors, Counc Don Eastwood, was also impressed." I'd heard that it had four arms, so I wasn't quite sure what I was going to see," he said." I think it's very good, because whereas a normal portrait would be forgotten, everyone who comes in here will say "Who's that? " Counc Peter Johnston agreed that the portrait captured his late colleague's personality." It reminds me of all the things I liked about him, as well as the things I didn't," he said. And Geoff Featherstone, of local computer firm BBM, who sponsored the painting of the portrait, said: "He was a controversial man and this will be a controversial picture." Christine Healey, the artist-in-residence at Salford" University, who painted the portrait, was pleased with the reaction. "There was a bit of a stunned silence and I thought that was great," she said. She had devised the symbolism of the portrait after talking to people who knew him well, she added. The four hands, she explained, indicated creativity, energy and action. The window in his forehead shows that he was "always looking for new opportunities," and the redness around his neck was an "indication of passionate feelings."

David Dingwall


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