LONG-SERVING Bromsgrove district councillor and former chairman of the authority, John Tidmarsh, has died at the age of 90 after a short illness.
Coun Tidmarsh, who represented Stoke Prior, passed away peacefully this morning (Friday) with his daughter.
He was born on January 12, 1925 to Mary and Charles Tidmarsh from Cropthorne.
His parents were market gardeners at the local post office and he attended the village school at Cropthorne and gained a scholarship to Prince Henry’s Grammar School in Evesham.
On leaving school, he went to the counts police HQ and became a police cadet and became an RAF Flight Navigator during the war.
Having been demobbed in October 1946, John married his long-term girlfriend Joan who he had met when his father-in-law to be was looking for someone to help his daughter with her maths homework.
He took up that role and they fell in love, marrying on February 2, 1947.
After the wedding, the pair honeymooned in the West Country and settled down in their marital home at Cropthorne.
The pair went on to have two daughters – Joanna and Louise.
After leaving the forces, John joined the family market gardening business and eventually set up his own transport business.
Over the years, John has been an articled clerk to Worcester City Coroner and for Averys Weighing Scales, where he worked for around 30 years.
John has been a Bromsgrove District Councillor for 20 years and it was in 2003 when he was chairman of the council.
He was always a very community-minded man and, in his retirement, was involved with a number of organisations, including the Worcestershire Air Crew Association, where he was president.
He was also president of Bromsgrove and Redditch RAF Association, president of the Royal British Legion for Hanbury and Stoke Works, was the chairman of the governors at Stoke Prior First School and was honoured by the Freemasons for 50 years outstanding service.
He was also chairman of the Neighbourhood Watch’s D Division, which covers Bromsgrove, Redditch and Kidderminster.
John and Joan celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in February 2012, receiving a card from HM The Queen.
As well as serving the community in many ways, he also cared for Joan during several years of illness.
John Ellis, the chairman of Stoke Parish Council, was among those who helped John celebrate his 90th birthday in January at Breme Care Home where his wife Joan still lives.
He said he was deeply saddened by the news and added: “He was a great friend and mentor to me during my chairmanship of Stoke Parish Council and has nominated me to stand at the district council elections in May.
“John had a long and interesting life and he will be greatly missed in Stoke.”
MP Sajid Javid said: “I am very saddened to learn that Coun John Tidmarsh has passed away.
“His absence will be keenly felt across the Bromsgrove District where he was a respected and dedicated councillor for the past 20 years.
“His devotion to public service and tireless work in helping those around him, as a councillor, charity fundraiser and school governor, has meant he has left permanent mark on us all.”
Bromsgrove District Council Chief Executive Kevin Dicks said: “I have had the privilege to work with Coun Tidmarsh for a number of years and I was deeply saddened by this news as are my fellow officers.
“He was truly one of the nicest people who I have had the privilege to meet, let alone work with, and always went out of his way to express his appreciation for the work that officers had done.
“As a long serving councillor he had a wealth of experience and knowledge about local government and the district.
“He truly cared about Bromsgrove and I know he took pleasure in representing his ward and was committed to seeing the district flourish.
“Our thoughts and wishes go out to his wife and daughters, family and friends at this time.”
Joan and Coun John Tidmarsh celebrating their wedding anniversary.
Picture by Jon Fuller-Rowell 14.07.033.JFR