Mablethorpe says farewell to former mayor Graham Kirkup

Graham Kirkup
Graham Kirkup

MABLETHORPE has lost a well loved local figure after the recent death of former mayor Graham Kirkup.

Graham, a founder member of the Boatshed and Chairman of Mablethorpe Day Centre, as well as a former town and district councillor, died on Wednesday, November 23 aged 69.

Graham spent 30 years as a Mablethorpe town councillor and many on the district council, he also spent a year as town Mayor between 1991 and 1992.

He was born on July 29, 1942 in Loughborough, Leicestershire and worked as a City of London Police Officer before becoming a self-employed electronics engineer. He married Shirley in 1963 and the couple went on to have nine children.

The Kirkup family moved to Mablethorpe in 1981 where Graham was keen to get involved in the local community.

He became involved with the Parents and Teachers Association at Mablethorpe Primary School and subsequently Tennyson High School as chair of governors.

Graham was a keen Sutton Bowls Club player before a knee injury stopped him playing.

During his time on the district council Graham turned down an approach to become a county MP. But, as his son Stuart explained, this role wasn’t for him: “My father’s view was that it was the people of the town that were most important. He wanted to keep politics on a local level so he could serve them best.”

After his Mayorship ended, Graham became voluntary chairman of Mablethorpe Day Centre and was also president and treasurer of Disability Lincs.

In September 1995 Graham was diagnosed with a heart disease and given just a year to live. But that December a heart bypass operation helped him to go on to live for another 16 years.

Graham was a key player in the formation of the Mablethorpe Boatshed, an organisation still prominent in the resort today.

In his final years Graham and Shirley spent time selflessly raising money for charity, making hundreds of shoeboxes at Christmas, and organising raffles and tombolas to fund the appeal. Graham leaves behind his nine children, 17 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. His funeral is on Wednesday, December 7 at 11am at Alford Crematorium.

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