Tributes paid to well known Northampton magistrate

John Kirkham NNL-150403-113642001
John Kirkham NNL-150403-113642001

John Kirkham, well known in Northampton for his work as a magistrate and at the A Bell & Co showrooms, has died at the age of 66.

He was a magistrate for 28 years on the Northampton, Daventry and Towcester bench and also acted as chairman for the National Association of Youth Clubs (NAYC).

His wife, Mary, said: “He was a kind and considerate man who adored all his family and was absolutely rooted in the town.”

Mr Kirkham, who lived with his wife in Boothville, joined kitchens and fireplaces company A Bell & Co in 1963 at the age of 15. He remained there for the rest of his career and was appointed managing director in 1988, a position he held for 25 years. Mrs Kirkham said: “We met at an NAYC bonfire night in Kingsthorpe in 1966.

“He offered to walk me to a bus stop afterwards and it all kicked off from there.

“We were married on April 25,1970, so this spring would have been our 45th wedding anniversary.”

Apart from his family and his work, Mr Kirkham’s greatest passion was his local football team.

“He was a staunch Cobblers fanatic,” said Mrs Kirkham.

“He went to see them when they played against Manchester United with George Best in 1970.

“He loved everything that he was involved in, but was always humble and never pushy or arrogant.”

A funeral for Mr Kirkham, who died on February 7 at Cynthia Spencer Hospice, took place at Carey Baptist Church in Moulton, where he often mowed the lawn and helped to organise the sound system.

His wife and two children, Simon and Ruth, said there were so many guests that a video link had to be set up so people outside could hear.