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Tributes paid to 'first class community champion'
TRIBUTES have continued to pour in for a long-serving Darlington councillor and the driving force behind the town’s annual carnival, who died this week.
Jackie Maddison had been a member of Darlington Borough Council since 2003 and involved with the town’s community carnival for more than 20 years.
She died on Wednesday (December 5), in Darlington Memorial Hospital, aged 62, following a short illness.
Mrs Maddison was one of two members for the Lascelles ward, in the east end of the town, along with her friend and colleague, Councillor Wendy Newall.
Coun Newall led the tributes, along with council leader Bill Dixon and carnival colleagues.
She said: “Jackie was very hard-working and very talented, but she also had a quirky side to her.
“She had her serious side – she was totally committed to whatever she undertook, but there was also that mischievousness.
“We had worked together in Lascelles for nine years and I had known Jackie for some time before that.
“She was very well-known and respected in Lascelles and a number of residents have already spoken to me to pay tributes.”
Mrs Maddison was chairwoman of Darlington Community Council’s organising committee, which celebrated its 30th anniversary this year.
Last month, she moved to allay fears that the event’s future was in doubt.
Coun Dixon said: “Jackie simply was the carnival, its main driving force over the last 20-plus years.
“She was a first-class community champion and councillor, who will be greatly missed by her constituents and friends.”
Mrs Maddison, a former teacher who taught at a number of schools in Darlington, had been ill for four weeks before being admitted to hospital last week.
Councillor Jan Cossins, who had known Mrs Maddison for more than 45 years, described her friend as “a very nice lady with a dry sense of humour”.
Gloriana Morehead, treasurer of the carnival committee, said: “At our last meeting, we heard Jackie was on the mend, so this is a great shock.
“Everyone involved with the carnival is saddened by the news.”
Mrs Morehead said the committee would consider the carnival’s future following a meeting next week.
Funeral details have yet to be confirmed, but it is understood a service is likely to take place at Holy Trinity Church, in Woodlands Court, Darlington, later this month.