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Tributes paid to former clerk of Craven District Council Joe Harrison
8:00am Thursday 15th August 2013 in News
Joe Harrison, 81, retired clerk to Craven District Council, died peacefully at home in Grassington after a short illness.
Joe was born at Middop Hall, near Rimington, and was educated at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School.
His career in local government spanned five decades from 1948 until his retirement in 1984. Working initially for the Clitheroe Town Council, Joe moved to Skipton in 1955 as committee clerk for Skipton Urban District Council.
In 1960 he achieved a national award for his dissertation on Local Government Law and Public Administra-tion and for attaining the highest marks in the United Kingdom and Common-wealth in his professional examinations.
Joe was promoted to deputy clerk to Skipton Urban District Council and, in 1974, was appointed clerk to the new Craven District Council.
He met Gladys in Rimington in 1948 and they married in 1954 after he returned from doing National Service in the Sudan.
Joe and his family lived in Bright Street, Skipton, for much of his working life but during his retirement he and Gladys moved to Threshfield and then to Grassington in his beloved Dales.
Joe’s family had been farmers at Middop since the 1680s and Joe’s knowledge of husbandry, his understanding and love for his farming background remained a significant influence on him throughout his life. His passion for the Dales never dwindled and until recently he continued to enjoy walking, and reading his extensive collection of books on the Dales.
Joe was a devoted husband and father, spending much of his 29 years in retirement travelling the country to visit and spend time with his children and grandchildren.
Joe is survived by his wife, Gladys, their six children Brian, Ian, Susan, Stephen, Marian and Michael, 16 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
His family will miss his love, wisdom, sense of humour and kindness.
A funeral service was held at Grassington Methodist Chapel on Tuesday, followed by cremation at Waltonwrays in Skipton.