Tributes have been paid to Pendle Council’s first ever chief executive who died at the weekend after a short illness.
Colin Simmonds (83), of Kelswick Drive, Nelson, served as the chief executive of the newly formed council from 1974 until he retired in 1987.
He loved Pendle. He was very proud and passionate about itFamily tribute
Prior to the boundary changes in 1974, he had been town clerk at Nelson Council since the mid 1960s after moving to the town in 1962 from Glossop with his family.
After retiring from his council role, he took up a position as a director of the Marsden Building Society until the age of 70, and also served as president of Nelson Cricket Club and Nelson Rotary Club.
Paying tribute this week, his family said: “He loved Pendle. He was very proud and passionate about it. He enjoyed the challenge and loved work. People held him in high regard. He was firm but fair and always had time to listen to people. He was unassuming, thoughtful, articulate and intelligent.”
Philip Mousdale, Pendle Council’s Corporate Director, said: “Colin was instrumental in setting up the council that exists today.
“It must have been an exciting time because that’s when several towns and villages were brought together to form what we know now as Pendle, one of 14 new district councils in Lancashire.
“In 1976, the new council was given borough status with its own its coat of arms.
“On behalf of Pendle Council I offer our sincere condolences to Colin’s family. Our thoughts are with you all at this difficult time.”
Born in Grimsby in 1932, Mr Simmonds dad George was a professional footballer, and transferred to Boston United two years later taking the family to the Lincolnshire town.
Following school, he started work at the town hall in Boston before joining the RAF between 1950 and 1953 where he was a clerk based at Raynham in Norfolk.
He later moved to Glossop to become deputy clerk at the town hall and it was here that he met Kathy, marrying in 1957.
The couple enjoyed 58 years of happy marriage and had three daughters Karen, Coleen and Alison.
After the move to Pendle and the late meetings the role chief executive brought with it, he would often head to Westfield Bowling Club in Nelson for a game of snooker and a drink to unwind.
When not at work, Mr Simmonds played football and cricket for Nelson Grammar School Old Boys in his younger years and he was a long-time member of Colne Golf Club.
A football fan, Mr Simmonds always looked out for the results of Boston and Burnley, but it was his beloved Manchester United that was the closest club to his heart, and he was a regular at Wembley for FA Cup finals involving the Red Devils.
Although he loved work, family was always first, and he and Kathy relished taking off abroad on holidays to their two favourite destinations of Tenerife and Montemar, Spain.
He also dearly loved spending time with his daughters, six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Mr Simmonds funeral will be held on Tuesday at St Paul’s Church in Nelson at 12-15pm followed by a cremation at 1-40pm at Burnley Crematorium.