Mossley-born councillor made OBE in Queen’s New Year Honours
Friday 29th December 2017 @ 22:30 by Adam Higgins
Mossley & Saddleworth News

An Oldham councillor, who was born in Mossley and represents Saddleworth South, has been made an OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s New Year Honours List.

Councillor John Hudson has served the local community in a wide range of capacities for more than 40 years and he is honoured for his public, political and charitable services in the list, which was officially published at 10:30pm on Friday.

The councillor celebrated his 78th birthday on Christmas Eve and, upon receiving the award, modestly proclaimed he was only a flag bearer for public service, thanking all of the people of Saddleworth and the local organisations and groups which he said truly deserved the award.

He said: “I realise that I am only a flag bearer – you can’t do public service unless you are backed by the public. My wife, Kathleen, my family and the people of Saddleworth and at all kinds of local organisations and group are the ones who really deserve an award.

“I simply couldn’t have done any of the things that I have without their support and understanding, so the praise goes to them. I thought I was too old for this sort of thing to be honest, so I was very shocked when I found out about it and checked it was right.”

John went on: “There have been many people who have made fantastic contributions to Saddleworth and Oldham and have gone without recognition like this, so for me to be given an OBE at this time in life is humbling.

“I’m amazed that an ordinary person like me has got this award. We are blessed to live in a wonderful place here, so I hope this news brightens everybody’s day and they know this award is for them, not me.”

He worked at Joseph Clare’s Dyeworks in Greenfield during the 1950s and worked in local government at Mossley, Audenshaw and Trafford Councils.

He first entered local politics in 1971, initially standing as a Labour councillor. After a six-year break he switched to the Conservative Party and – in 1977 – was first elected as a Saddleworth Parish councillor: a position he holds to this day.

John was also elected as representative for the former Saddleworth East ward on Oldham Council from 2002 to 2006. From 2008 he then served as a Chadderton Central ward member before coming back to represent Saddleworth South from 2012 onwards.

He was also the agent for Geoffrey Dickens, the former MP for the then Littleborough and Saddleworth seat and stood in the high-profile three-way marginal by-election following Mr Dickens’ death in 1995.

John was elected to the office of the Mayor of Oldham for the municipal year 2013/4 and – accompanied by Kathleen as Mayoress – they put in a staggering amount of energy and time into hosting visits, attending local schools and engagements. They raised a total of £50,468 for local charities and good causes, impressing everyone they met as ambassadors for the borough.

Beneficiaries of that year included the Terence O’Grady Social Club, Christie’s at Oldham, Oldham Music Centre, Oldham Support Group for Carers in Autism, Oldham Theatre Workshop and the Oldham Liaison of Ex-Servicemen Fund.

John has two daughters, Claire and Deborah, and one granddaughter, Courtney.

Earlier this year he received a special honour to mark 40 years’ continuous service on Saddleworth Parish Council. This has seen four spells as Chairman and is an unbeaten record for continuous service. During this time he has also raised a further £59,500 for the Chairman’s charities.

This remarkable feat was marked at the Civic Hall in Uppermill in April this year. The upstairs ballroom was renamed ‘The Hudson Suite’ in his honour with an engraved plaque and a framed dedication. A citation to his long service was also hung in the Council Chamber.