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Mayor of Blackburn - JAMES STANWORTH 1870-1941
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Author:  Leaver [ Sun Apr 15, 2007 2:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Mayor of Blackburn - JAMES STANWORTH 1870-1941

Blackburn Times, 27th September 1924

Councillor J. Stanworth’s interesting and Successful career.

Alderman J. T. T. Ramsay, J.P., having declined an invitation to accept the Mayoralty of Blackburn for the third year, the special representative Committee of the town council appointed to deal with the question, deputed Alderman Forrest, Alderman Parkinson and Councillor Hamer to interview Councillor James Stanworth, J.P. The interview took place at Fern Bank, East Park road, Mr. Stanworth’s residence. On Tuesday night, when the invitation to allow himself to be nominated as Mayor was accepted.

Mr. Stanworth was born at Burnley, in 1870. Both his parents died when he was very young, and he remembers neither father nor mother. He was one of a family of five sisters and two brothers, and he was “brought up” by his sisters. As a boy he was sent to a public elementary school, and later he supplemented his education by attending evening classes at the Mechanic’s Institute. When old enough to work he entered the services of Messrs. Duckett and Sons, Sanitary Pipe Works, Burnley, with whom he received an excellent business training. At 21 years of age Mr. Stanworth married, and at 23 he had the offer of becoming the London representative of the firm of Messrs. Duckett and Son, of becoming the manager of his uncle’s brick works at Nelson, or taking over a small business of an umbrella manufacturer. He chose what his friends considered the worst proposition, namely the umbrella business, but by hard work and long hours he built up a large and prosperous concern. One small shop was all he had at the beginning; now J. Stanworth and Co. have fourteen branches spread over Lancashire, and have about 100 employees. It was in March, 1900, that he opened out in Blackburn, starting in one portion of his present premises in Darwen street, later removing his works to the old Venetian Hall, near to the General Post Office, which were converted into model workrooms; just as his shops are among the most up to date business premises in this or any other town. By hard work, paying close attention to business, moving with the times, regular and extensive advertising, Mr. Stanworth has built up a large and successful business, and has become known throughout this country and in lands overseas. It is not generally known, but Messrs. J. Stanworth and Co. probably do one of the largest parcel post trades of any business firm in town.

The Mayor-Designate is something more than a successful business man; he stands for the highest form of citizenship. Not without misgiving did he accept the presidency of the Tradesmen’s Association (now known as the Chamber of Trade), in 1912, a position he held for two years. Until he was placed in that office he had never made a speech in public. He put new life into the association, and by earnest advocacy of high ideals stimulated others to take the same pride that he has in making Blackburn the shopping centre of East Lancashire. For twelve years, side by side with the promotion of his business interests, Mr. Stanworth has rendered signal service to the community by ungrudging work in many spheres. His acceptance of the presidency of the Tradesmen’s Association led to his appointment to the Chamber of Commerce, of which he became the chairman, in March, 1918. He held that office for three years. Next, he was elected to the town Council. After one unsuccessful attempt by a bye election in St. Matthew’s ward, in May, 1919, he was returned for St. Mary’s Ward in November, 1920, his Labour opponent on that occasion being the late Mr. Austin Harkin. Though nominated by the Liberals, Mr. Stanworth was supported by the Conservatives, who showed their satisfaction at being represented by a business man of his type by allowing him an unopposed return last November. Councillor Stanworth is on most of the important committees of the Town Council, including the Education Committee and its two sub-committees, representing the elementary and secondary sides. He is acting Vice-chairman of the Electricity Committee. In April, 1917, he was placed on the Commission of the Peace for the Borough.

During the war he was a member of the Advisory Committee of the Military Tribunal, and Chairman of the War Economy Committee, and of the War Savings Committee. In connection with his work on the War Saving Committee, mention should be made of the two and a half million pounds raised in Blackburn for the Victory War Loan. Mr. Stanworth took prominent part in this great achievement. He is a vice president of the National Chamber of Trade, with a seat on the Executive and Parliamentary Committees; a vice president of the Blackburn Chamber of Commerce; a member of the Executive of the Blackburn Liberal Association; a member of the Board of Honorary Trustees and Managers of the Blackburn Savings Bank; and elder of St. George’s Presbyterian Church, president of the Blackburn Chess Club, president of the Amateur Orchestral Society, president of the Blackburn Sunday School Football League, president of the East Lancashire Motor Cycling Club, and chairman of the Commercial Department of the Technical College. Long though this list is, it by no means exhausts the catalogue of offices the Mayor-Designate now holds or has held. He has a keen appreciation of music and art, and is fond of golf and motoring. He is a Freemason. Initiated in Fidelity Lodge No. 269, in May, 1916, of which he is still a member, he subsequently joined the daughter lodge of Manor No. 3322, in which he took office and is now a senior Warden.

In Mrs. Stanworth, Blackburn will have a Mayoress well qualified for the duties. During the war she was president of the committee dealing with the workshops for unemployed woman, and for several years she was on the Committee of Viewfield Home, and was the treasurer of the Blackburn Women’s Liberal Association. Mrs. Stanworth is a daughter the late Mr. Thomas Howarth, of Oxford road, Burnley, and she was married to Mr. Stanworth at Brunswick United Methodist Church, Burnley, in 1891. They have a family of two daughters and a son, all of whom are talented musicians. The elder daughter, Miss Gertrude Stanworth, is an accomplished pianist. The second is the wife of Dr. Stewart Park, of Huddersfield. She is best remembered as Miss Elsie Stanworth, well known as a contralto vocalist. Mr. Walter Stanworth, M.C., the son, plays the violin, and is the hon. Treasure of the Orchestral Society. He is the sub-manager for his father’s large business. Mr. and Mrs. Stanworth have made more than one trip to America, the last occasion being in 1920, when Mr. Stanworth, who was then Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, attended the Congress of the Chambers of Commerce of the British Empire at Toronto. Subsequently they visited Mr. Stanworth’s only brother, Judge Ward Stanworth, a member of the Supreme Court of Ontario.

Blackburn Weekly Telegraph, 5th October 1918.

The award of Military Cross to Lieutenant Walter Stanworth (East Lancashire Regiment), son of Mr. James Stanworth, J.P. of East Park Road, Blackburn, though announced unofficially some months ago was only gazetted this week. The award is in the following terms; “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty while in charge of wireless communications. Under heavy shell fired and difficult conditions generally he personally erected forward wireless stations. Wireless was the only communication for 24 hours. He did excellent services.”

Author:  Mel [ Wed Apr 18, 2007 9:12 am ]
Post subject: 

Picture of Councillor Stanworth on the main site
http://www.briercliffesociety.co.uk/Pho ... nworth.htm

Author:  Leaver [ Wed Apr 18, 2007 3:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Coucillor James Stanworth, former Mayor of Blackburn

Click on the link and do a search for “Stanworth”. You can see early advertisements for J. Stanworth & Co. along with photos of Councillor James Stanworth and his wife

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