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John “Jack” Harrison born in 1925 – Passed into Eternity Jan 22 2016

Following his national service in the Air Force, Jack began his working career at the Royal Ordinance factory in Wigan, after which he was transferred to the Chorley facility. Try as we might, he never ever revealed to us what his responsibilities were at Royal Ordinance, nor why he was so important to them, because he had signed “the official secrets act” and thereby wasn’t at liberty to disclose any information. Everyone in the place knew however, who to turn to for clock and watch repairs, earning him the nickname at work, “Jack the Clock!”

He met Florence along the way, and they eventually married in 1951 setting up home in Byrom Street, Poolstock where Jackie and then Janice came along.

Coming up to visit Aunt Peggy in Westhoughton on the bus one day in 1957, Florence saw Allenby Grove being built, and when she got back home persuaded Jack to buy the last house for sale. During the next few years two more children came along, in the form of Jillian and Stuart.

Over the years Jack developed a love for all things sporting, especially cricket, and his early days were spent watching and supporting Poolstock and Blackrod Cricket Clubs. Blackrod particularly and the friends he made there, played a huge part in Jack’s life for many many years, and it was only relatively recently that he ended his Saturday morning visits to see his Blackrod friends.

The early 1980s were a very proud moment-in-time for Jack when he began to watch 16-year-old Stuart play for Westhoughton’s First Team, and on one occasion he was very grateful to have a young Greg and Glyn to carefully guide him and his bike back home after one of many great nights he had at The Tyldesleys following the games. Apparently on this particular occasion, he serenaded the both of them all the way home. Later he would go on to see Greg, Glyn, and Ben play for the same Westhoughton team, producing yet more proud times for Grandfather Jack.

In keeping with the sports theme, Jack had a propensity to plan family holidays to Bognor Regis and the home of his sister with the Glorious Goodwood Racing Week – Mind you, it was always an interesting journey and the family never covered the same route twice, it was just that Jack was generally lost once he got outside of Wigan, but Janice was always quick on the uptake however, and became the official map reader and route organizer, albeit she was barely 10 years old at the time. Nevertheless, Janice always seemed to get everyone there!

Future holidays for Jack developed into trips to Scotland with Stuart, his mate Stan, Stan’s dog, clothes, food, and fishing gear for a 2-week stay in a caravan, and all in a Reliant Robin! Goodness knows how Florence and Jillian kept straight faces as they waved them all off packed in like sardines in that tight little 3-wheeler!

Following his retirement Jack and Florence spent lots of time together with day trips, lunches, visits to family and other attractions as they took their fancy, but when Florence became too ill to venture out too far, Jack devoted most of his time to caring for her and making her as comfortable as he could until, following her long illness, she passed away in 2004. It was during this period, when Jack had the opportunity to get out on his own for a break, that one of his friends introduced him to the Reform Club where he developed a whole new social network for himself.

At the ripe old age of 80 Jack got his first passport and went on a lads trip to Tenerife, the visit of which we’re informed, was his first (and only) foray into tobacco smuggling! On reaching his 90th birthday in December, Jack enjoyed a family party at Jackie’s house where everyone gathered to celebrate a great innings – and as usual, he was the last to leave!

In closing, Jack was so very proud of his family .. Jackie, Janice, Jillian, and Stuart, all settled and happy in their lives … His grandsons Greg, Glyn, Ross, and Ben, and his great-grandchildren Amy, Matthew and Ada … He loved the visits of Greg and Glyn and their families, and they never came North without a stop-off to see him .. He was excited to hear all about Ross applying to universities and him hoping to become a doctor … He enjoyed talking about football, cricket, in fact any sport with Ben, and the pair of them comparing their bets was the inevitable result of most of their chats …

So there you have it ladies and gentlemen, from the family themselves … The story of a life well-lived, well-rounded, and well remembered. They would like to thank you for coming along today to say “tara” to Jack and invite you all to join them at the Reform Club immediately following the service to help celebrate the life of a true gentleman.

Thank you all very much.