Tribute to Corby community activist and staunch Labour supporter John Forshaw

John Forshaw died at the age of 89 on Wednesday, June 9

Monday, 21st June 2021, 12:41 pm
Updated Monday, 21st June 2021, 12:42 pm

A former Corby councillor who served and supported the community where he lived and worked has died at the age of 89.

John Forshaw had moved to Corby for a fresh start after seeing an advert in a Scottish newspaper promising jobs and houses.

A lifelong trade unionist, he served as a councillor and helped run voluntary organisations to help people struggling with social issues.

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John Forshaw - family photo
John Forshaw - family photo

When his wife Maureen became mayor of Corby, he supported her as the mayor's consort.

Step-daughter Tracy Stoker said: "I think he had a huge influence on many of the local people. John was a trade unionist all his working life and was a staunch supporter of the Labour Party. He was also a member of the Co-operative party and served as branch secretary.

"John married mum (Maureen) in 1975 and made a family with her children Adrian, Angela and Tracy. They were married for 45 years until sadly she passed away in September 2020."

John was born in Bishopbriggs, Scotland, on May 29, 1932. He left school aged 14 and started work, in his first pair of long trousers, as an office boy in Lambhill Iron works in Glasgow.

Working with Age Concern in 2011 L-r John Forshaw, Shirley Castree, Emrys Jones, Mair Evans, John Clark and Maureen Forshaw.

At 16, he secured a locomotive fitter apprenticeship at Cowlairs works and completed this before serving his two years national service in the REME.

John returned to work on the railways for a short period but then moved to Carron Valley in Stirlingshire to work in the Forestry Commission and get a house to start his married life.

In 1960 John moved to Cumnock in Ayrshire with his wife Eileen and two children Bruce and Carole, to work in Killoch Colliery. While in Cumnock John fostered two children Mandy and Crawford. Forty years later Crawford tracked John down to thank him for the part that he had played in his life.

Following an advertisement in The Sunday Post, John moved to Corby in 1969 to start work at British Steel and get a council house on the Beanfield estate.

He soon became active on the local political scene serving two terms as town councillor, from 1971 to 1976 and 1983 to 1985, and was also elected to the county council from 1984 to 1986.

Turning his energy to volunteering, John worked with Welfare Rights, helping many people with their benefit claims and appeals.

He ran Corby Credit Union enabling access to affordable credit for everyone and ran Corby’s branch of Age Concern - gaining a 25-year long service award.

Tracy added: "John was always happy to express his opinions and to support good causes, organising and attending protest marches, composing letters to the press or talking about issues on the local radio.

"He took great pride in completing and publishing his autobiography and never missed an opportunity to promote it.

"John leaves behind fond memories of his kindness, generosity and good humour with his children Carole, Angela and Tracy, son-in-law Shaun, his grandchildren Rachael, Jessica, Ian and Emma, grandson-in-law Dean and great-grandson Finn."

Those unable to attend John's funeral will be able to pay their respects as his cortege processes down George Street in Corby town centre.

The funeral procession will pass by the Corby Cube council offices at about 3.10pm to 3.20pm on Wednesday, July 7, before the service that starts at 3.30pm.