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Obituary: Alfred Jealous

Obituary: Alfred JealousWe are sad to report the passing of Honorary Alderman and former Councillor Alfred Jealous who  died on 15 September 2014.

He was one of the longest serving Councillors we knew, dating back to pre-Fylde days.

We recall seeing a photograph of him in office in what looked to be his late 20s or early 30s, and we assume that was with the former Borough of Lytham St Annes.

He was Mayor of Fylde in 1996/97 and became an Honorary Alderman ten years later in 2007 after he retired from public office.

As a person, he was far more at home in a tailcoat than a T shirt (not that we had ever seen him in a T shirt, but we do recall seeing him in a tailcoat at one of the Open Golf Competitions when he was officiating for the borough as Mayor, and lunching with Prince Andrew).

On that occasion - as ever in a formal setting - he was absolutely in his element,  preening, and enthusiastically flicking his tails before sitting down.

Although we have said he was most at home in formal surroundings and he was an old style, traditional, Conservative, he carried a personal contradiction to the extent that he was first and foremost a showman, and an extrovert. He was made from the same mould as Phinieas T Barnum.

He loved the limelight and being the centre of attention.

We recall a special event he put on one evening where, to the delight of other Councillors he held an evening of magic, literally performing conjuring tricks in the Council chamber.

We also know he was a very accomplished film maker, having seen some of the private shows he gave. We recall one showing in particular where he had filmed the (as they were at the time) 'new'  greenhouses in Ashton Gardens where state of the art growing facilities had been installed in the early 1960's.

In civic life, parks were his great and first love, and would tell people he was never happier than when he chaired the former Lytham St Annes Parks Committee with a very hands-on approach.

During his time at Fylde, he was an enthusiastic and outspoken member of the Tourism and Leisure Committee, and his love of nature drew him close to the Local Sand Dune Nature Reserve. He became Chairman of Fylde's  Nature Reserve Sub-Committee helping to manage and regulate the reserve.

A keen lover of theatre and the arts, he enthused over the collections held by Fylde and always supported their funding.

He was  also a man of very strong and sometimes eccentric opinions and convictions who always spoke his mind - and if that meant going against the 'party line' on occasions, then he would not hesitate to do so.

He had a particular facial expression during a heated discussion (and there were lots of those when he was around). He would set a very square jaw line and exclaim some point - as if to say - 'so there!' and with that, he would claim victory by turning and walking away, only to return to the argument after a couple of steps away to carry it on longer.

He would argue with passion, but it was never clear to us how much was genuine belief and how much was his lawyer's training using passion for effect to carry the argument. Certainly he could - and often did - become agitated and heated in his demeanour.

We recall seeing him in a particularly heated exchange in one Council meeting where he actually removed a shoe and threw it across the Council Chamber - not at anyone - just in disgust or disagreement with what had been said or decided.

All of this added colour and character to Fylde's Council and Committee meetings that the modern sanitised and stage managed presentations lack completely.

He eventually stood down from Fylde and was elected to the County Council, but his willingness to speak out didn't win him friends in all quarters, and  his colleagues eventually de-selected him to stand for the County Council - a blow that we know would have hurt him deeply, because civic affairs were very important to him.

As a final chapter in his civic life he stood for St Annes Town Council ward of Fairhaven in a by-election in January 2009 but was not elected.

After that he hung up his arguments and concentrated on enjoying himself. He was a great 'cruiser' with cruises mostly on P&O Line ships whose 'Cricket Club' style of operation would have made him feel entirely at home.

We also know he was a accomplished ballroom dancer and recall seeing him whisk and whirl his ever faithful wife around the dance floor to a quickstep.

Sadly his steps have stopped, and his arguments will be had no more.

In his heyday, he was a great part of the character of the Council, and was, himself, probably the greatest character within it.

Fylde has lost another of it's former councillors, and another piece of an era is gone.

Dated:  24 September 2014


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