Links in a Chain - the Mayors of Bolton
Links in a Chain - The Mayors of Bolton
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James Vickers

Mayor of Bolton: 1952-53 (Labour)

Born: Halliwell, Bolton 1895

Died: Barlow Park Avenue, Bolton 19 September 1972

Educated: Halliwell Road Wesleyan Day School, Bolton

Insurance agent.

Began work at a drapers shop at 12. By the age of 13 he was a little piecer at Mossfield Mill, Vernon Street, before becoming a collier at Scowcroft's Colliery and Stott's Pit, Westhoughton.

He joined the Bolton Artillery aged 19 on 12 February 1914 (six months before the outbreak of War) and served as a Driver in Egypt, the Gallipoli campaign and later in France. He received a bullet wound at Cambrai on 28 September 1918, which left him with a three inch scar on his left forehead. He contracted pneumonia a few days before the Armistice in November 1918 and was invalided back to England before finally being discharged on 16 March 1919.

He returned to work in the mines where he trained to be a fireman and became a member of Howe Bridge Rescue Brigade.

Later he delivered milk for the Co-op for 5 years before becoming an insurance agent in 1928. He remained in insurance until he retired.

He represented Halliwell Ward 1933-1970. Alderman and Magistrate.

Vice-Chairman and Chairman of the Public Assistance Committee. He also served on 9 other Committees including Libraries, Parks and Entertainments.

He served on the Management Committee of Rainhill Mental Hospital 1936-43, the Management Committee of Whittingham Mental Hospital 1936-52 and on Bolton Hospital Management Committee for 38 years.

He was Leader of the Labour Group on Bolton Council for 14 years.

As Mayor, he accepted the gift of a new Silver Gilt Mace on behalf of the Borough from retiring Liberal Councillor Robert Fairhust on 4 September 1952.

He opened the Infant Welfare Clinic, Withins Lane and the Hearing Aid Centre in April 1953. He also opened The Holmes Residential Hostel for disabled men and women in Darwen, Lancashire in 1953.

He was awarded an OBE in January 1966 for political and public services in Bolton and was made a Freeman of the County Borough of Bolton on 22 March 1966.

He contributed a long series of beautifully written articles to the Bolton Evening News recounting his experiences during the First World War and beyond, forming a sort of serialised autobiography.

Close boyhood friend of Alf Booth, Mayor of Bolton 1941-42.

Congregationalist - he was a lay preacher from the age of 15 at Shaw Street Mission and was a Deacon of Chorley Old Road Congregational Church, holding many other Church offices within Bolton and district.

His wife, Sophia (Cissie), was Mayoress.


Click for larger image Formal portrait of James Vickers as Mayor of Bolton.

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James VickersClick for larger image

The names of the Mayors of Bolton from 1941 to 1974 are recorded on the reverse of the County Borough badge

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