Fitting tributes to former Bridlington mayor

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Touching tributes have been paid to former Bridlington mayor Michael Charlesworth who has died, aged 82.

Michael, more commonly known as ‘Mick’ or ‘Mike’, passed away peacefully at York Hospital on Saturday after a sudden illness.

Mike served on the Bridlington Town Council from 2003 and undertook many roles within Bridlington including being mayor between 2012 and 2013, a Bridlington Harbour Commissioner, Branch Chairman of the Royal Naval Association and Secretary of the Bridlington Protection Group.

The Mayor Councillor Shelagh Finlay said: “Councillor Michael was very proud to be elected Mayor for the year 2012-2013 and despite illness was a credit to the office. “Michael was a strong voice for Bridlington and our thoughts and prayers are with Tim, Karen, Janet and family at this very sad time.”

Councillor Charlesworth was born in Southampton in 1933. He joined the Royal Navy as an Artificer Apprentice at the age of 16 and was released 14 years later as a Chief Artificer.

He then spent 14 years as an Engineer Surveyor to an Eng. Ins. Co, based in Croydon, Enniskillen (Reserve Con. R.U.C.), Nottingham.

While living in Nottinghamshire he founded a Rate Payers’ Association which put up candidates in local elections.

When his company offered him the post of Inspector at the Salt End refinery in Hull he and Jean chose to live in Bridlington. Mike married his teenage sweetheart, Jean on 17 December 1955. They had three children Janet, Karen and Tim.

Mike’s son, Tim Charlesworth, said: “On behalf of the family I would like to say that, though we grieve our loss we know he had lived life to the full.

“He was a family man who had traditional values.

“He didn’t suffer, he passed away in a calm and dignified manner, and that is something we can be grateful for.

“While he revelled in political debate and thoroughly enjoyed his year as Mayor, he’d felt an emptiness since losing Jean in 2010 after they had lived together in Bridlington since 1975. Hopefully now, somehow, they are together again.”

He travelled the world with various long and short term contracts as an Inspection Engineer in the petrochemical industry in the UK, Libya, Pakistan, Oman, Trinidad and Cyprus.

Eldest daughter Janet and her husband Ivan had emigrated to New Zealand with their two young children, Chris and Jessica, and had another girl, Anna, out there. Mick and Jean made regular long trips to see their three kiwi grandchildren growing up. He also doted on his grandchildren, Steven and Samantha.

While his wife Jean was well known at Belvedere Golf club, Mick became increasingly involved in local politics as well as being a proud member of the local Royal Naval Association.

Prior to standing as an independent councillor and his spell as Mayor, he was a founder member of the Bridlington Protection Group, set up to oppose the East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s plans for a massive Marina in Bridlington Harbour.

Having been a Harbour Commissioner between 2005 and 2010, he always supported their plan for a more modest marina development.

Chair of Bridlington Harbour Commissioners, Chris Wright, said: “Mike was a very nice chap who was a well respected and intelligent man.

“When he was harbour commissioner, he was great for the board. He soon had the place weighed up and he has been missed since his departure.

“Our thoughts go out to the family.”

The Bridlington Harbour flag will be lowered at half mast in respect to Michael Charlesworth until the funeral date.

The funeral service will be at The Priory in Bridlington at 12.45pm on Tuesday 10 February, followed by a brief committal service at Octon for family and close friends.