Former mayor dies

Allan Smith. EMN-191203-132946001
Allan Smith. EMN-191203-132946001

Former Mayor of Sleaford and the town Magistrate’s Court Clerk, Allan Smith, has died peacefully, aged 86.

Born in Elton, Nottinghamshire, he moved to Grantham where he married Brenda (deceased). In 1963, they settled in Sleaford to raise their family and stayed for 57 years.

Originally planning to become a teacher, Mr Smith saw a temporary advertisement for the assistant Justice’s Clerk’s post which resulted in a 43 year career in which he became known as ‘Mr Justice’.

A senior magistrate once said: “Allan achieved so much, with professionalism, dignity, integrity, patience and even brought a touch of humour to the courthouse.”

He was at the forefront of the successful campaign to keep Sleaford Sessions House open for local court hearings.

He was elected to Sleaford Town Council and 1979 saw the first of two elections to the role of Mayor, with wife Brenda as Mayoress.

He commented: “I was not entirely convinced that I was the right man for the job, but thought I would give it a go.”

This was at a time of great uncertainty and threats to local government services.

Even though retirement in 1997 allowed for more family and leisure time, Allan felt he needed a new challenge, which came in an advisory volunteer’s role at Sleaford Citizen’s Advice Bureau for over 10 years.

Other interests revolved around the Civic Trust, local town tour guiding, school governor roles and support for young people with learning difficulties. One of his greatest delights was the organisation of a show starring Sir Ken Dodd in Sleaford - an immediate sell-out for which Sir Ken personally thanked him.

One local resident said: “Allan was a very private and modest man, but with very public roles. Always smartly dressed in jacket and tie, even when he went shopping.”

Mr Smith leaves three daughters and four grandchildren.

His funeral will be held at St Denys’ Church, Sleaford, at 1.30pm on Friday, March 29. Everyone wishing to pay their respects is welcome.

Arrangements by Colin Ward Funeral Services of Sleaford.