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Tory stalwart Jim Nock from Reculver was admired even by his political opponents on Canterbury City Council

By Gerry Warren

Former Lord Mayor of Canterbury and ex-council leader Jim Nock has lost his fight with cancer.

He died at his home in Reculver last night aged 79 with his wife, Joy at his bedside.

He was president of the North Thanet Conservative Association and the first to pay tribute to the popular former politican was MP Sir Roger Gale who described him as "a lovely guy and true gent".

Former city council leader Jim Nock with Herne Bay Sir Roger Gale
Former city council leader Jim Nock with Herne Bay Sir Roger Gale

Mr Nock had a career in the engineering industry and later ran the Royal Kent Hotel in Herne Bay. He served on the old Herne Bay Urban District Council as a ratepayer member and became Conservative leader of the city council in 1983. He was elected Lord Mayor in 1990.

He was awarded an OBE for service to political and public life, and involved with his local conservative association since it was formed in 1983, of which he was chairman and later president.

Sir Roger said: "When I was first elected in 1983 he was a very experienced local government politician and I was a very new, inexperienced Member of Parliament.

“He was head and shoulders above any of his contemporaries. He was a superb leader of Canterbury City Council and one of the first people to become Lord Mayor.

“He was also a lovely man, with a wicked sense of humour. If he had a fault it was that he supported Wolverhampton Wanderers."

He said Mr Nock was a popular and generous politician who was well liked by all sides of the political divide.

Also paying tribute was Reculver ward councillor Jennie Edwards who worked as Mr Nock's secretary at the Conservative office in Birchington for five years.

She said: "He was one of the nicest guys you could ever meet. He was special.

"It's like losing my grandfather all over again.

"He was my mentor. If it wasn't for him I would have never stood for election.

He was your archetypal Tory, but he was fair, he would always hear you out.

"No matter what arguments you might have, he would always join you in the pub afterwards. He was a proper, proper politician."

Mr Nock leaves his wife of 56 years, Joy and two daughters and a son and eight grandchildren.

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