Death of respected Nelson church man (96)

Mr Ronald Jackson
Mr Ronald Jackson

A highly respected and well-known gentleman from Nelson has died at the age of 96.

Mr Ronald Jackson, who was born in Every Street and lived for 70 years of his life in the same house in Cooper Street, was associated with a diverse number of Nelson organisations.

The longest-serving member of The Mission, Mr Jackson was church secretary and lay preacher at the church for many years.

He was also a well-known member and twice president of Nelson Camera Club where he was given an honorary lifetime membership.

He gave almost 1,000 slide lectures around the area, and his photographs were used for many years in Pendle Borough Council’s annual calendars.

Father to Marilyn and Judith, Mr Jackson was married to Nellie for 58 years until her death eight years ago.

Daughter Mrs Marilyn Willwohl said: “My father was very well respected and well known throughout the area.

“He was a very kind and compassionate person. I would say he was an authority on local history, especially church history, and would share his knowledge. He had a phenomenal mind.

“He was one of life’s givers, contributing his time and energy to people, societies and The Mission.”

Mr Jackson was also a keen walker and had been a member of the Pendle Walkers (CHA) group. He often led walks in the Yorkshire Dales, Lake District and briefly in the Swiss Alps.

Away from walking and the church, he was also a member of the Senior Men’s Fellowship and the Local History Society, as well as the Nelson Gramophone Society.

Marilyn added: “My father loved the local area, there wasn’t a hill or path he didn’t know. He also enjoyed classical music.”

Mr Jackson, whose parents came from Newchurch-in-Pendle, attended Bradley School in Nelson and later went to work as a “reacher-in” at the J.T. Clegg Mill, two weeks after his 14th birthday.

In 1941, he was the only person in the country to be awarded the Textile Award by the Drapers Company London for cotton, manufacturing and weaving.

This led to him winning a major scholarship to study at the Manchester College of Technology, but he was unable to do so when he was called up to join the RAF during the Second World War.

Serving on ground crew he also assisted in mountain rescue in Scotland during the war.

Following the war, he worked as an insurance agent for the Co-op for 30 years in Nelson.

He was made a Freeman of the Borough in 2014 in recognition of his war service.

Mr Jackson lived the final two years of his life at the Belvedere Care Home in Colne where, despite his frailties, he helped organise the Thursday outings and often led the Sunday service there.

He leaves two children, three grandchildren, four great grandchildren and two great, great grandchildren.

His funeral was held at The Mission where 150 people attended, and was buried at Wheatley Lane.