Former mayor was a ‘pillar of community’

Cllr John Fildes
Cllr John Fildes

A FORMER Mayor of Erewash and West Hallam councillor of more than 40 years has died.

John Fildes, 83, passed away last week after a long illness.

His son Simon said: “My dad was a pillar of the community, people looked up to him.

“He was an honest, respected and a very well known man.

“He was sporty, active and he loved his badminton, football and tennis.

“He was a passionate politician and always stood up for what he believed in.”

After moving to West Hallam 45 years ago with his wife Florence, 79, three daughters, Annette, 53, Bernadette, 50, Elaine, 49 and son Simon, 46, Mr Fildes became involved with the parish council.

Simon said: “He became involved in everything.

“His role at the local councils expanded and he soon decided politics was what he wanted to do, he went on to be on the County Council as well.”

As well as roles as a councillor Mr Fildes was the Mayor of Erewash, joined by Mrs Fildes as Mayoress.

He was in the role of Deputy Mayor of the borough when he retired from politics in 2009 due to ill health.

Mrs Fildes said: “He was a very busy man, he was always at this meeting or that.

“He gave so much to the community and was involved in so much.”

During his time on the council Mrs Fildes ran the West Hallam post office, next door to where the family live.

As well as his roles at various councils Mr Fildes was a governor at St John Houghton School and St Thomas Primary School.

He also served as a member of the Ilkeston branch of the Ilkeston British Heart Foundation, volunteered for various causes and spent a lot of time fundraising and at St Thomas Church on Regent Street.

Simon explained that spending time with his eight grandchildren was also one of his father’s favourite things to do.

Simon said: “He loved all of his grandchildren so much.

“He really enjoyed spending time with them and they all looked up to him.”

Cllr Carol Hart served alongside Mr Fildes on West Hallam Parish Council and Erewash Borough Council.

She said: “John was a lovely man, a true old gentleman and he’ll be sadly missed.

“He put so much work into his role as a parish and borough councillor and did everything he could to help people.

“He helped even more residents in his role for Derbyshire County Council and his work was greatly appreciated by everyone who he helped.

“My thoughts are with his family.”

A reception will be held to celebrate Mr Fildes’ life at St Thomas Church, Nottingham Road, Ilkeston on Tuesday March 22 at 6pm.

Requiem mass will be held on Wednesday March 23 at 11.30am, followed by a cremation at Bramcote Crematorium.