Tributes to former Mayor of Calderdale Olwen Jennings who has died aged 79

Olwen Jennings
Olwen Jennings

Tributes have been paid to the former Mayor of both Calderdale and Todmorden, Olwen Jennings, who has passed away at the age of 79.

As Coun Jennings, representing Todmorden at Calderdale Council and Cornholme ward at Todmorden, she served its people for many years, including as first citizen of both councils – she had also been Deputy Mayor of both.

Her most recent role as civic head was as Mayor of Calderdale in 2004-2005.

Olwen moved to Todmorden with her husband Robert and their family from Cleethorpes 40 years ago and soon became involved in every aspect of the town’s life.

When she lost her Calderdale seat in the 2011 elctions she had represented Todmorden ward for 13 years and served on Todmorden Town Council for 12 years before that.

During her Calderdale Mayoral year she said she particularly enjoyed meeting its youngest residents, visiting almost every primary school.

Senior roles at Calderdale included a spell chairing the Liberal Democrat group of which she was a member.

When she lost her seat she responded with typical good grace, congratulating her winning opponent and saying: “I am disappointed to lose – but at the end of the day all’s fair in love, war and politics.”

A councillor representing Cornholme ward on Todmorden Town Council until May’s elections, Lloyd Stephenson has also passed away aged 74.

Jamaica-born Lloyd moved to England when he was young and although he graduated from Manchester University with a degree in engineering, a flair for fashion and design and a love of music shaped his life.

Lloyd used to DJ and ran fashion outlets in London, Manchester and most recently Todmorden.

He lost his Manchester shop Roxy’s when the city was bombed in 1996, after which he made his home in Todmorden.

Also a cricket fan, Lloyd brought together his love of good clothes and good music when he opened the Okeh shop in Todmorden, naming it after the famous American soul record label.

In 2015 he was elected to Cornholme ward as a Labour candidate.

Friends paid tribute to his energetic, vibrant personality and he leaves his sons Leon, Zak and Christopher.

His funeral service is at the Old School Chapel, Priestwell, off Cross Stone Road, Todmorden, on July 19 at 12.45pm.