Jack Brassington - "A Man of Many Parts

Jack Mason Brassington, or Jack as he was known by folk hereabouts, who died on 19th August at the age of 92, was the eighth child of Thomas W. Brassington, the building contractor who founded the firm of Brassington's Saw Mill at Bridge End, Settle, and became well known for his work, especially on churches. Jack, meanwhile, received his education at Giggleswick School which he left in July 1920 to join the family business as a joiner and church restorer, and continued as such until his father died when the firm was run by Jack and his brother Fred, on whose death by Jack alone, who seemed to share his father's interests in work on churches, particularly that of repair and restoration, in which after all he had been trained. And as, for instance, Thomas was the contractor who built Giggleswick School Chapel to the specification of the architect T G Jackson, and had been responsible for much of the work of restoration of St Alkelda's in the late 19th century, and at Malham, so Jack's first major job was on restoration of the church of Thornton-in-Lonsdale, burnt down by a disastrous fire, to be followed by work on churches at Stainforth, Slaidburn, Clapham, the Chapel, and others. The two would speak with justifiable pride of "The Brassington Churches", or of "Our Churches", but if any one was Jack's favourite, it must surely have been St Alkelda's of which he could say on his 90th birthday, "I have been in the choir (for he had a fine tenor voice), a bell-ringer, a church warden, secretary to the Parochial Church Council, and have served eight different vicars."

Jack played rugger for Skipton and, when the family moved to Settle, played in the first team the Ribblesdale Club ever fielded. He was a past President of the Settle Rotary Club, and a President and Honorary Member of the Settle Amateur Operatic Society, taking the lead in their productions for more than twenty years. He was also an active member of the local Masonic Lodge.

He loved his garden which he tended with great care and, naturally, supported the Giggleswick Horticultural Society. He was too a Vice-president of the North Craven Heritage Trust and a valuable trustee of the Building Preservation Trust. Nor have I forgotten that it was Jack who erected the panelling round the Choir Vestry and the new kitchen, which came from St Mark's, Uttley. That it was he too who made the boxes for the kneelers in the choir stalls, and installed the new shelves for the hymn books. To have forgotten these would have been wrong, for they are part of Jack's memorial. Above all he was a craftsman, modest withal, whom many will recall with affection for the man they knew, and with the greatest respect those with whom he was less well acquainted.

L.P. Dutton.

Mr Dutton died in January of this year. This obituary is printed here with the warm assent of Mrs J.Dutton.