Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Guest Blog: Jerry Hutchinson sees his parents on film at Castleford Museum

A visitor to Castleford Museum got in touch with us recently after viewing some films on display. He had spotted his parents; his mother featured on the film - this being the only film he had ever seen of her. 

The films are held by  Yorkshire Film Archive , but can be seen in full at Castleford Museum.

In this guest blog Jerry Hutchinson talks about the films and his parents:

On a recent visit to Castleford, my wife Sharon and I visited the excellent new museum and spotted the display on Castleford Borough Council.

We noted that there were a couple of films about Castleford becoming a Borough. I was keen to have a look at these as my dad, Ernest Hutchinson was Town Clerk af Castleford for the whole of the time that it was a Borough from the granting of the Charter in 1955 until Local Government Reorganisation in 1974.

I was also hoping that there might be a bit of film of my mum, as she died in 1984, just before camcorders really caught on, so I have no film of her.

When we watched the films, it was very emotional for me to see both of my parents. Dad was on both films, firstly the one with the Princess Royal being introduced to the Mayor, Ezra Taylor, his daughter and Consort, Olive Stokes and the rest of the Civic Party, and secondly he's the man in the wig and gown on the film about the first Council meeting.

My mum is in the lineup to meet the Princess Royal and the bit of film shows her being introduced. It's the only bit of film of her that I'm aware of and she doesn't look totally happy, I understand that she wasn't feeling too well that day, which is my fault as she was expecting me at the time, so this is my first public appearance too!

Mr & Mrs Hutchinson meeting the Princess Royal.  Screen still from the film on display at Castleford Museum
Dad's background is that he was originally from Middlesbrough and went into local government in 1927, working for Middlesbrough Corporation until he volunteered for the Royal Artillery in 1940. He saw action on the guns at Dover in the Battle of Britain and worked his way through the ranks ending the war as a Captain. After the War he qualified as a solicitor and after getting a Town Clerk's job in Bacup in 1952, he came back to Yorkshire as Clerk to Castleford UDC in1954. One of his first tasks was to seek Borough status including working with the College of Heralds on what is now Castleford's Coat of Arms. He also went with Ezra Taylor on the first visit to Herne, which started links which still remain.

Mum and Dad married in 1942 and had three children, my sister Sandra whose ashes are  interred at Castleford Parish Church, my older brother Roger and myself. We both went to CGS and in my case Castleford High when Comprehensive Education came in. Mum was a teacher, and taught at Welbeck Street School for many years.

The family left Castleford in 1974 when the Borough ceased to exist, but at the age of 63 Dad got the job of Chief Executive of North Wolds Council, based on Bridlington until retiring in 1977, when he took on running the Bridlington Priory Restoration Appeal, raising over £1 million, in acknowledgement of which his face, complete with glasses appears as a gargoyle at Bridlington Priory!

Sadly, Mum died in 1984, and Dad in 2001.

Roger and I followed Dad into both the law and local government,  Roger becoming Deputy Town Clerk of Burnley, whilst I have been Chief Executive of North Warwickshire (a former mining area which only lost its last deep mine at Daw Mill 12 months ago) for the last 19 years.
Castleford has never left our blood though, and myself and my wife and children, all born in Nottingham remain keen Tigers fans, three of us long standing season ticket holders. 

Jerry Hutchinson
18 August 2014

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