His job was wedded bliss

That's it: Calderdale's superintendent registrat John Jackson at work after 37 years in registration
That's it: Calderdale's superintendent registrat John Jackson at work after 37 years in registration

JOHN Jackson is calling it a day after attending 25,000 weddings.

Calderdale’s superintendent registrar has taken early retirement from a career which spanned 37 years.

He previously worked in Bradford and has held his job in Halifax for the last 23 years.

As superintendent he was in charge of administration and weddings.

“I have enjoyed the best job ever,” said Mr Jackson, who is single.

He campaigned to remove the register office from unsuitable premises in Carlton Street and it finally moved to Spring Hall in 2009 and in January this year its elegant ceremony room opened.

Changes he has seen include the introduction of computers in 1989 but there is still a legal obligation to record events by hand in ink in a bound register.

Then in 1995 civil weddings were allowed to take place in premises other than the register office, such as hotels, and they now account for about half the civil marriages in Calderdale.

And in 2005 same-sex couples were finally allowed to register a civil partnership.

“We had an initial rush of couples who had been together many years who had never envisaged a time when the law would give full recognition to their long-established relationships,” he said.

Also in 2005 registrars took on the new duty of arranging and conducting Citizenship Ceremonies to formally welcome new British citizens into the community.

“Being involved so closely with key events in people’s lives has been wonderful yet often emotional with extremes of traumatic sadness and great happiness.”

His busiest day was Valentine’s Day in 1997 when he officated at the weddings of 17 couples.

Mr Jackson, of Burley-in-Wharfedale, said the vast majority of weddings went to plan.

In retirement he intends writing a light-hearted book about his experiences in registration.

He is also working on a PhD with Bradford University researching elementary school attendance in Victorian Bradford and enjoys travel.

Mr Jackson said he would miss his colleagues and his job has been taken by Sarah Richardson, who is now head of licensing and registration.