Touching tributes have been paid to former mayor of Bridlington James Crichton who has died, aged 98.
James, more commonly known as ‘Jim’, suffered a stroke a couple of weeks before his death and he passed away after being admitted to Scarborough Hospital.
Jim was mayor of Bridlington in 1980 supported by wife Kathleen who acted as mayoress during his reign.
Jim was chairman of the Driffield District Council in the early 70s until a council restructure in 1973 when he became a councillor on the new North Wolds District Council. On this council he was on the land sub committee. It was here where Jim certainly made his mark as a councillor when he was involved in the introduction of the Carnaby Industrial Estate. He believed the Bridlington area needed more permanent jobs instead of relying on the area’s tourism industry
Former Pocklington councillor Ivor Loney, 84, said: “Jim was a first class man and a great friend. We knew each other through the council but I knew him personally also and he was an absolute gem. He and Kathleen were a delightful couple and did a superb job when they were mayor and mayoress in Bridlington. He was a strong character and I will miss him dearly.”
Councillor Crichton was born and grew up in Edinburgh. He attended agricultural college before putting his skills to the test in 1937 when he moved to the Wolds to work at Painslack Farm through the war.
It was at this stage when he met his wife Kathleen Hawkins at a dance in Beeford.
He decided to move to Breeze farm in Beeford after the sad passing of Kathleen’s mother to help her father run the farm. He made huge changes to the farm making it into a UK developer in mass production of eggs. Starting off with 250 hens, he worked hard becoming the chairman of the Yorkshire Egg Producer for 17 years. When he retired, he had developed the business and owned 26,000 hens.
Jim’s nephew Andy said: “He was an outgoing. His mobility was limited in his final few years but his mind was as sharp as ever. He was very much a Scotsman but he fell in love with East Yorkshire when he moved here, hence why he stayed for the rest of his days. His biggest achievement was the creation of Carnaby Industrial Estate and the formation of the egg farm which were both massive into what they are today.”
Jim was a keen supporter of the Bridlington RNLI and named them as his charity during his year as mayor in 1980. He organised many fundraising events after his time as mayor, even into his 90s, when he made meals for 20 to 30 people.
He was also on the board of governors at Beeford Primary School for a number of years. He was also made an honorary alderman when he retired from the council.
Jim retired and bought a flat in Easterfield Court in Driffield after his late wife Kathleen passed away. He was the first, and oldest, resident to move into the new development. Jim lived there until April 2014 when he moved to Limes Care Home in Driffield.
Jim was a member of the Yorkshire County Cricket Club and also was a keen Hull Kingston Rovers fan in the rugby league.
Jim’s niece Margot Whitehead said: “He was a very chatty man who was as sharp as anything. Everybody who have passed on their condolences have said what a lovely man he was.
“He was extremely popular. He was very keen on cricket and would frequently attend games at Headingley as well as taking his great-nephew to the Oval. He was so fond of his family and friends and he will be sorely missed.”
His funeral service will take place today at St Leonard’s Parish Church in Beeford at 2.30pm for family and friends.