Links in a Chain - the Mayors of Bolton
Links in a Chain - The Mayors of Bolton
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John Gibbons

Chairman of Westhoughton Urban District Council: 1931-32 (Liberal)

Born: Haslingden, Lancashire 3 March 1881

Died: Westhoughton 1973

Educated: St James's Parish School, Haslingden, Lancashire

As a child he attended evening continuation classes and Mr Tattersall's Commercial School. He was also privately tutored by the Rev J W Nairn, Minister of Haslingden Congregational Sunday School.

He started work as a half-timer at the age of 10. Before coming to Westhoughton he spent some time in Lisbon, Portugal as assistant mill manager.

Came to Westhoughton in 1907 as Secretary of the Westhoughton Manufacturing Company at Glebe Mill, Library Street. When the name of the firm was changed to Glebe Mills Ltd he became general manager and later managing director.

Represented Central Ward from 1929 for 9 years. He was originally elected as a Liberal but became a Conservative.

One of the most important objectives the Council achieved during this period was the concession of a reduced charge for water from Bolton Corporation. This was said to have been largely the work of John Gibbons "whose astuteness at the head of a Westhoughton deputation proved valuable."

Chairman of the Finance Committee.

Speaking in 1973 the then Chairman of Westhoughton UDC, Councillor Mary McIntyre, said that Councillor Gibbons "must have served a hard apprenticeship, for he had been connected with the Council during a period of industrial depression and high unemployment in the town. But she was certain that - like many others - he had been glad to do what he thought best for the town."

His qualities were described as "quick assimilation of facts, an outstanding ability for mastering the meaning of statistics and a thorough grasp of municipal finance".

John Gibbons


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