Links in a Chain - the Mayors of Bolton
Links in a Chain - The Mayors of Bolton
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William Welsby

Mayor of Farnworth: 1949-50 (Labour)

Born: c. 1894

Died: 14 October 1968

Educated: Francis Street Congregational School, Farnworth; All Saint's School, Farnworth; Queen Street Seminary School, Farnworth

Collier and Trade Union activist.

He began his working life in the cotton industry at Beehive Mills, but at the age of 17 became an underground pit worker, retiring in 1962 after 51 years in mining. For 27 years he worked underground at Agecroft, Clifton Hall, Mosley Common and Brackley Pits. He became a check weighman at Brackley in March 1939 and followed this occupation until his retirement in 1962.

He served in the South Lancashire Regiment during the First World War.

He worked at Brackley for 41 years and for most of that time he was Treasurer of the Brackley Miners Association Lodge.

He was also Secretary of the Pit Welfare Committee and a member of the executive of the Lancashire and Cheshire Miners Federation.

It was as a delegate of the Brackley Miners that he became actively identified with the Farnworth Divisional Labour Party in 1937.

In 1945 he was elected to the Borough Council and served 23 years, becoming an Alderman in 1949.

He was particularly interested in the library service and was Chairman of the Library Committee from 1946 to 1967 except for the year of his Mayoralty. During that period two libraries were built and opened at Marsh Lane and New Bury.

Chairman of the House Letting Committee.

Served on the Divisional Education Executive and was a Governor of Farnworth Grammar School, Harper Green Secondary School, St Gregory's Primary School and Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School.

He was a pigeon fancier and for 8 years was Secretary of the Short Distance Pigeon Fliers Union in Farnworth.

He was on the committee of Farnworth Swimming Club and was made a life member. Member of Farnworth British Legion.

Roman Catholic. He first worshipped at Gregory's RC Church where he served as an apparitor on the Men's Club Committee. Later, after moving to George Street, New Bury he attended Our Lady of Lourdes.

He was a Past Grand Knight of the Bolton Branch of the Knights of St Columba and a former Chancellor.

His daughter, Mrs Lily Gallagher, was Mayoress. His wife had never taken part in public life and declined to serve as Mayoress.

William Welsby


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