Philip Hodgson

TRIBUTES have been paid to a pillar of the East Bierley community who has died.

Philip Hodgson, who was described as a ‘real gentleman’, died last month of heart problems and his funeral service was held at St Paul’s Church, Birkenshaw.

After leaving school in 1945, Mr Hodgson did National Service as a Bevin Boy before getting a job at Rycroft Glass in Bradford, where he remained until his retirement in 1991.

As their son, John, grew up, Mr Hodgson along with wife, Nancy, became involved with East Bierley school PTA, and he was awarded a medal in 1995 for his services to the Scout fellowship.

Despite being a busy man, Mr Hodgson also loved to spend time with his family.

John said: “He was a great dad - he used to love taking us all on holiday to Blackpool in the summer.

“Once he learned to drive in 1964, he used to travel a bit further round the country – he loved Scotland, particularly Callendar, which was his favourite place to go.”

After 51 years of marriage, Nancy died in 2003, but Mr Hodgson still maintained links with the local community.

He was chairman of East Bierley Pensioners’ Association, a member of East Bierley Cricket Club, and was on the Parish Council for Birkenshaw church and an honorary life member of the Scout Fellowship.

“He was always busy and never liked to miss anything - even when he was living on his own, we used to have him round to our house for dinner once a week,” said John.

“He would sometimes have to cancel on us because he was so busily involved with the local community – he never missed anything! He was a real gentleman, and very generous with his time – he always had time for everybody.”

Birkenshaw councillor Andrew Palfreeman, a friend and fellow member of the East Bierley Pensioners’ Association, said: “He always attended the ward forums and the area committee meetings. He was very community based.”

As well as his son, Mr Hodgson also leaves daughter-in-law Denise, grandchildren Rebecca and Jonathan, and great grandchildren Caitlyn and Megan.