PEOPLE – DAVIES B.O. Alderman. J.P. – First Mayor.
Accreditation to the Cleveland Standard 18/02/33
ALDERMAN B. O. DAVIES
First Mayor of Redcar
Never Lost Faith in Teesside
By Hugh W Cook
Alderman B. O. Davies, who is a native of Merthyr Tydvil, came to Teesside in 1891, when he joined the staff of Messrs. J. M. Lennard and Son, of Middlesbrough, the oldest firm in the town (it was established as long ago as 1851)
In a recent interview with Ald. Davies I find that he still possesses that charming personality, that fresh and cheery outlook upon the world, which has probably won him more friends, than he ever dreamed of. In his business relations on Teesside he has commanded an outstanding place, and his service to the whole district may well be linked up with the contributions made by some of the greatest industrialists the district has ever known.. These associated with Alderman B. O. Davies’ public life, have always found him a loyal colleague. He has never once shirked grave issues. He is happy in situations calling for calm and clear thinking, and when the need has been for leadership he has always been there.
He has been one of the inspiring forces of the Teesside Chamber of Commerce, and at times when the outlook was very dark and depression rife around, he never lost faith in the future of Teesside.
Alderman Davies fills so many public positions in Cleveland that this is only practicable to refer to a few of the most important.
For some time he has been a governor of Coatham School, a Justice of the Peace, an Alderman of the North Riding county Council, Chairman of the Tees Pilotage Board, Chairman of the Middlesbrough branch of the Yorkshire County Savings Bank, Chairman of the Works Committee of the Tees Conservancy, Chairman of the Cleveland and South Durham Welsh National Society, and President of the Redcar branch of the League of Nations. He holds many other offices too.
Mr. Davies tells me that he came to Redcar 21 years ago, really for the benefit of his health. Apparently he came for the benefit of Redcar. A great advocate of open spaces, he was the means of securing Locke Park for Redcar. Over many years he has steadfastly worked for the advancement of the town, and during late years has seen it develop from an urban district into a very progressive seaside resort.
Redcar‘s First Mayor
The Charter of Incorporation was granted in 1922, and it was singularly appropriate that Alderman B. O. Davies should be the first mayor of Redcar – a position he occupied the great credit for three years.
The fortunes of the young borough were guided by him with energy, tact and skill, through great difficulties of the first three years.
The popular seaside resort had to grow and make its mark in the annals of the kingdom, and the new administration admirably responded to the chief magistrate’s lead.
In September last Redcar added a further page to its brief municipal history as an incorporated borough, when it admitted Alderman B. O. Davies as its second honorary Freeman.
Reaping the Benefit
At that time the worth alderman had been in municipal life for 13 years, during which period he had given of his very best, both to the local body and to the wider area of the North Riding. Today we are reaping the benefit of his work – and as a Redcar resident for 32 years myself – I know that everyone has the highest opinion of Alderman Davies’ value in local and county government, and no one will ever forget the services he rendered during (and since) his three years’ mayoralty.
Mr. Davies pays high tribute to the Town Clerk’s (Mr. R. McClean) self-sacrificing work, and is proud of his colleagues on the Town Council.
During his public life in Redcar no man has ever had a better helpmate than he has in Mrs Davies, who like her husband, has always given of her very best for the good of Redcar and district.
Mrs Davies has done a wonderful amount of work in town and surrounding district, and has always filled her many public duties in a most admirable manner.
Loves the Wild Birds
I must here mention the wonderful sympathy and affection Mrs. Davies has for birds, some of which she has named. On a recent visit to “Cartrefle,” I noticed a lot of nuts hanging up with other bird foods in the beautiful Grounds. Mrs. Davies holds a great affection for the members of the feathered tribe, and tell me that some of them fly into the rooms quite unafraid. This to my mind, typifies the kindness of Mrs Davies.
“On November 9, 1933” Alderman Davies told me, “I laid the foundation stone of the first council house in Redcar, and on the same day the Marquess of Zetland declared the Trunk Road open.”
As Chairman of the old Redcar Urban District Council, Alderman Davies cut the first sod of the Grangetown trunk road.
In 1922 Mr. and Mrs. B. O. Davies came forward with the offer of robes for the Redcar’s alderman, and a sum of money to defray the cost of arms from the Herald’s College.
I remember being present on the eventful day in 1922 when the Town Clerk of Redcar declared “I crave silence for His Worship the Mayor,” and thousands of the towns-people on seeing Councillor B. O. Davies rise fully clothed, as their first Mayor demonstrated their entire satisfaction with a storm of cheering.
Last September, when the honour of Freedom was conferred upon him, Alderman Davies stated. “It will be my fervent prayer that I might be found worthy of this great honour conferred upon me this evening.”
It is quite unnecessary to say that he has been found worthy in every way.
In conclusion may I pay tribute – not only as a writer to the Press for many years standing, but as an old resident old resident of the town to Alderman Davies (whom I have known for 30 years) and “who came to Redcar 21 years ago for the benefit of his health.” I sincerely trust that both Mr. and Mrs. Davies may long be spared to dwell amongst us, as their cheery and optimistic manner and great personality are greatly appreciated by all of us.
Another incident occurred whilst be was on the Bench Of Redcar Police Court:-
An act of kindness. 13/03/1926 The Deputy Mayor of Redcar, Alderman B.O. Davies performed an act of kindness by giving a defendant at his court hearing, the amount required to renew his dog licence. The defendant stated that his dog licence was out of date, and could not afford a new licence for the dog which he was keeping for his little boy who was in hospital.
February 6, 2010 People & Characters