Former Melton Mayor Colin Chapman passes away
Former Mayor of Melton and long-serving town policeman Colin Chapman has died at the age of 94.
Mr Chapman, who was council member for Newport Ward for 24 years from 1987, was Mayor for the year spanning 1994 and 1995 and was awarded status of Honorary Alderman eight years ago.
He passed away on January 23 after spending his final years at Scalford Court Care Home.
Mr Chapman, who was married to late wife Betty, leaves daughter, Adelle Cannon, son-in-law, Tony, and grandson Jordan.
Adelle, who lives with her family in the United States, said: “Dad enjoyed politics and, interestingly, although born into a Labour mining family he became a stanch Conservative.
“He led a very interesting life from being a panelist on a BBC radio quiz show with celebrities to going to The Queen’s garden party.
“He loved people and usually had a big smile on his face.”
Born in Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, in 1924, Colin Orson Chapman grew up in a mining community and worked down the pit when he was just 14.
He served in the army in the Second World War and lived with shrapnel up his back after being wounded.
Mr Chapman joined Leicestershire Constabulary after being demobbed and served for 26 years, spending several years at Melton police station at its former location on Leicester Road.
Previously he was stationed in Asfordby Valley as the district seargeant and also worked out of stations in Quorn, Loughborough, Thurkeston and Oadby, enjoying his time in the CID in the early 1960s.
Melton had been his home town since 1966,
Did not retire from work and had several jobs, including with the Leicester Book Services and MultiBroadcast.
Along with his service with the borough council, he was also elected as a county councillor for Melton North.
Mr Chapman and his wife enjoyed many holidays in the United States visiting Adelle,Tony and Jordan - he loved to play golf there and enjoyed the people and
He was a boxer in his youth and was an avid sportsman, playing football, cricket, bowls and golf.
His family say he blamed his sports playing for giving bad knees in his later years but that he enjoyed that part of his life.
Melton Council leader Joe Orson said: “I was deeply saddened to hear of Colin’s passing, he was a great man and a dedicated councillor.
“He served the borough with considerable distinction throughout his years of service to the community and could very often be found in the town centre, chatting to residents about ways in which he could help them.
“He was a unique character, larger than life, and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.”
Long-serving borough councillor Malise Graham, who served as Deputy Mayor when Mr Chapman was Mayor, commented: “Colin was a great friend with whom I worked closely for many years.
“He cared deeply for his community and always spoke passionately at meetings and from the heart.
“He served his ward tirelessly and made a massive contribution to life in this area and beyond in his capacity as a borough councillor, county councillor, deputy leader and Mayor.
“I greatly enjoyed our years working together; he was fantastic company at any occasion and would often have a mischievous twinkle in his eye.
“His wife, Betty, was a great support to him and we thoroughly enjoyed our year as Mayor and Deputy Mayor together.
“He will be dearly missed and I pass on my deepest condolences to his daughter Adelle and all those who knew him.”
Former borough councillor Matthew O’Callaghan, who represented Newport Ward with Mr Chapman for 15 years and who succeeded him as county councillor for Melton North in 1997, said he was sorry to hear about his death.
Mr O’Callaghan said: “You were never quite sure what Colin was going to say when he stood up in council to speak; usually a bit of home-spun wisdom, something amusing and then his view on the matter at hand.
“You would also never know which way he was going to vote as he had an independent mind and exercised it for the benefit of the people he represented.
“I’m certain it was those qualities that made the council vote for him to be an Alderman of the council, one of only three in the borough.”
A funeral service will be held on Wednesday February 13 at Loughborough Crematorium.