Family says Rushden historian will be missed

Eric Jenkins with grandson Tom
Eric Jenkins with grandson Tom

The family of a man who was passionate about local history has said he will be ‘sorely missed.’

Eric Anthony Jenkins died peacefully at Kettering General Hospital on March 21.

A picture of Eric taken by the Northants Evening Telegraph in 2008

A picture of Eric taken by the Northants Evening Telegraph in 2008

He will be remembered as a schoolmaster and above all as a local historian, being the author of seven books of Northamptonshire stories as well as numerous articles and other writings.

He was a popular speaker on many local topics.

At the time of his death, Eric was putting the finishing touches to a history of the Civil War in Northamptonshire.

He was a founder and president of the Rushden and District History Society.

Eric Fowell (left) with Eric Jenkins (middle) and Geoff Wiggins (right) cutting the cake for the 25th anniversary of Rushden & District History Society

Eric Fowell (left) with Eric Jenkins (middle) and Geoff Wiggins (right) cutting the cake for the 25th anniversary of Rushden & District History Society

Eric was born in Wolverhampton on October 2, 1932, and educated at the city’s Grammar School.

After working at Wolverhampton Public Library, which was interrupted by National Service with the South Staffordshire Regiment, Eric trained as a teacher.

His first post was at John Lea School in Wellingborough, where he taught for more than 30 years.

After retirement from teaching, Eric worked as town clerk in Irthlingborough.

Eric had many interests; early on as a football referee and in politics, but he was also passionate about railways and traditional jazz.

He was also a magistrate on the Wellingborough Bench for more than two decades.

Eric was very much a family man and married Pat in 1957.

Alan was born in 1959 and Robin in 1961.

Robin and his wife Jess gave him two grandsons Sam and Tom.

Alan and Lesley gave him a step-grandson, Jack, and delighted him with the first girl in the family, granddaughter Petra, in 2011.

Eric’s funeral will be held at 11am on Wednesday, April 11, at the Nene Valley Crematorium in Wellingborough.

His family has said Eric was much loved and will be sorely missed.