Woman with a nomadic life settled in Thurcroft

twenty years ago Joyce Jackson was walking her dog when a chance meeting with a retiring parish councillor found her agreeing to take his place.

She took up her place on Thurcroft Parish Council and has served the local community ever since.

But now, at the age of 87 and having given up driving, she has decided to retire.

Mrs Jackson, of Brampton, said: “I was walking the dog when I met up with Les Walker who was retiring from the council.”

“He asked me if I would be interested in taking his place and so I said yes.”

“I’ve enjoyed my time as a councillor, I’ve met a lot of nice people.”

“I like being sociable and meeting people and I was always very interested in how things operated.”

She said a lot of people didn’t realise that parish councillors were unpaid volunteers.

“I once went on a trip to Scarborough for two days representing the council and that was the only trip I had that was paid for,” she said.

She served on committees for lighting and the environment.

Mrs Jackson said her greatest achievement was to help get a playground for Brampton.

“We set up a village committee and raised a lot of money, there was a real community spirit then.”

“We don’t have it the same now that the pub has closed, we used to have a lovely Christmas party for the children there.”

She also helped in the battle to stop a landfill site being situated between Brampton and Ulley.

“We were all very worried about it because it would have knocked value off our homes. It was a real battle and the parish council opposed it on our behalf,” she said.

Originally from Teesside, Mrs Jackson had led a nomadic existence with her late husband Harold, before they put down roots in Brampton.

Mr Jackson was a manager for Woolworths and they had nine homes in 18 years as he was promoted from store to store.

He was manager of the Rotherham store and, despite being offered another move, they decided to stay.

Mrs Jackson said: “Our two children Debbie and Andrew didn’t want to move again and we liked it here.”

Mrs Jackson, who also has one granddaughter, worked as an usher at Rotherham Magistrates Court up until retirement age and is still active and retains her community spirit.

After the success of the Brampton jubilee party, she is hoping to hold another village get-together in her garden this summer.

She said it wasn’t too big a commitment being a parish councillor and she would recommend it to other people.

“Since giving up driving I have had to ask somebody else to take me, which I didn’t like doing,” she said.

Mrs Jackson said she had been driving for 60 years and missed her car, although she makes good use of her free bus pass now.

Thurcroft Parish Council chairman Jeb Nightingale said Mrs Jackson had been a first class councillor and an inspiration to younger councillors.

He said: “It’s a shame to see a person of her intelligence and companionship go, it’s a sad day.”

“She has always participated in any concerns of the parish council and she’s going to be missed. She will be a hard act to follow.” Coun Nightingale, 74, who has been on the parish council for 23 years, said there was a possible candidate from Brampton to take over from Mrs Jackson.

He said if more than one candidate came forward there would be an election.