A WELL-KNOWN area stalwart and former mayor of Gainsborough passed away on Boxing Day.
William Arthur Downs (pictured) lived in Gainsborough for over 65 years and was was mayor of the town in 1994-95.
He died of a pulmonary embolism on 26th December 2011, aged 94-years-old in North Warren Residential Home.
William first moved to Gainsborough in 1947 before he started working for Roses and Marshall’s Engineering works, and lived in Highfield Close from 1952 until moving to the residential home in 2004.
“He was very loyal to Gainsborough and took a great interest in all things local - particularly the development of the town,” said his son, Tony Downs.
“The walk by the side of the River Trent was being planned while he was Mayor and he was very involved in that and all of the town’s other affairs.”
But much more than a councillor, William was also involved in Gainsborough Amateur Operatic Society, umpiring cricket at Roses, playing bowls at Highfield Bowls Club, and much more - including serving as a special constable for over 20 years, eventually becoming a Special Inspector.
“He was very well-known local character,” said Tony.
“Dad was also a very big family man and was extremely affectionate to his two children, seven grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.”
“As a grandfather, he loved to spend time with all of them and would often take them of trips out. We ate out as a family regularly and he treasured those moments.”
Tony added: “He played quite a big role in the lives of everyone in the family and we all regarded him greatly.”
Coun Sally Jupp remembers her time of working on the council with William very fondly.
“He was always a gentleman,” she said. “And he was always very proud to belong to Gainsborough and was always very keen to do the right thing for the town.”
Coun Jupp added: “I remember seeing him at the civic service last year - I was so happy to chat to him.He was a grand old chap and he’ll be sorely missed.”