Daughter unveils plaque in memory of former Shaw and Crompton councillor Matthias Pilling

A PLAQUE to commemorate the life and work of an eminent former Shaw and Crompton councillor has been unveiled for a second time.

Forty-six years after her mother Edith Pilling opened Matthias Pilling House on Siddall Street, Shaw, Elizabeth Way returned to the town for another official ceremony.

In front of family and current Shaw and Crompton Parish councillors, Elizabeth, who now lives in Cumbria, marked the plaque’s safe return.

Its new home is in the Parish Council headquarters on Kershaw Street East, where the council chamber has also been named in honour of Elizabeth’s father.

Matthias served on Crompton Urban District Council as a councillor for 27 years and was also a Lancashire County Councillor for nine years. 

The former sheltered housing accommodation was demolished in 2010.

“It was a real privilege to unveil the plaque, especially after so many years lying in a shed behind Royton Town Hall until it was found,” said Elizabeth, a teacher whose postings took her to Ghana, the Bahamas and Kenya.

“My father would have found the fact it had been resting there all along extremely amusing.

“Sadly, I didn’t get chance to see the original unveiling by my mother as I was working in the Bahamas at that stage. So, this is the first time I’ve actually seen it close up.

“Once we had cuttings to show Matthias Pilling House had been demolished, the family did wonder what had happened to the plaque.

“Now it’s in a very good position and I am so glad local government is still carrying on in Shaw.

“My father was determined to do whatever he could for the community and he was keen to instil in me duty to serve the community.

“He was passionately fond of Shaw and always busy looking after people’s needs and then following them up.”

Elizabeth, who previously lived in Mellor, near Stockport after returning from Africa in 1977, was pleased to enjoy a rare visit back to Shaw. 

Following the unveiling ceremony, family members enjoyed a meal at a local pub before returning home.

“I left when I was 18 to train as a teacher,” added the one-time St Paul’s School and Hulme Grammar pupil.

“The area has changed a lot since then. And one sad thing is the demolition of Shaw Town Hall which was a lovely building.”

Fact file: Matthias Pilling

  • 1895: Born October 17
  • 1908: Started work at Fitton’s Mill, High Crompton
  • 1916: Sent to France and served in trenches
  • 1927: Elected as councillor for North Ward Shaw
  • 1932-33: Chairman of Crompton Urban District Council
  • 1946: Elected as councillor for North Ward Shaw
  • 1962: Elected as county councillor
  • 1971: Died in September of cancer in Boundary Park Hospital.

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