Children’s safety started with Jim

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A road safety campaigner and former councillor is to be honoured by Uckfield Town Council.

Jim Molesworth-Edwards, 83, stood down as member for New Town at the May elections. He was first elected in 2003.

With a background in auto engineering and motorbike racing, Jim worked to ensure the town’s children understood the importance of road safety. In 2003 he volunteered to help Cllr Ian Smith organise the town’s annual Road Safety Day, taking over the running of the event on Luxford Field the following year. His contribution will be marked with a trophy bearing his name awarded at future events for the best safety poster produced in a competition between the town’s primary schools. He was also Speed Indicator Device co-ordinator for the town.

Road Safety Day involves emergency services, highways and rail operators who stage displays and ‘hands on’ demos for children from 12 primary schools. Members of the council’s environment and leisure committee agree the trophy will recognise Jim’s ‘extraordinary service to the council over many years.’

Born in Broad Oak, Jim moved to Cross-in-Hand where he attended Foxhunt Manor School, Waldron, commandeered as a hospital after D-Day. He has vivid memories of wartime bombing including a direct hit on a dairy farm and German plane which crashed in flames nearby.

He attended Tonbridge School, leaving to study automobile engineering while racing motor bikes in his spare time. He recovered from a broken back to compete in national trials and a result knew most top names in the sport, inviting World Champion John Surtees to a recent event. In 1960 he bought Ticehurst Motors, selling it in 1965, fine-tuning his working interest in highway safety.

Cllr Mick Dean said: “In the early days, Jim walked for miles around the town and industrial estate collecting funds so the day could take place along with countless visits to schools delivering a valuable lesson to children. I believe this would be a fitting tribute to a man that has had this event close to his heart for many years.” Deputy Mayor Duncan Bennett said: “His energy is boundless which belies his age. All of that energy is put to good effect in his time with the council and our appreciation is shown with the presentation of this award in his name. It shows our respect for his work.”

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