Former Newport mayor and top historian dies

Malcolm Miles, who was one of Shropshire's leading local historians, was three times Mayor of Newport, and played a major role in the town's public and social life for over five decades, has died.

Retired teacher Mr Miles, who was 81, passed away on August 4 following a battle with stomach cancer.

Shropshire-born Malcolm was a professional historian who lived most of his life in Newport - he was originally from Broseley - and built up a huge collection of photographs and other material about the town and its people.

He was a prolific author and published many books about aspects of the town's history.

Malcolm served three terms as Newport's Mayor

His lifetime of service to the community included being both a district and town councillor, and being Newport's Mayor for three consecutive years, stepping down in 1988. He served on Newport's council for 33 years as an Independent.

Malcolm was a current member of Chetwynd Parish Council and previously held the post of parish council clerk for a number of years.

In April he received Newport Town Council’s Special Recognition Award 2018 "in recognition of longstanding commitment to the town of Newport by preserving and sharing the history and heritage of Newport for the wider community.”

He served as chairman of governors of Newport Junior School for some years and his service as a governor to the school for a 44 year period made him one of the longest serving school governors in the county.


Malcolm (right) with fellow volunteers from organisations in the town, all set to start painting Cosy Hall, at Water Lane, Newport, in 1985 - the building was being turned into a community hall

A condolence card received by the family said: "Malcolm was such an amazing man who was so generous with his time and compassion for others. There are many people in Newport who know way more about Newport because of all Malcolm’s research. The school is a much better place for all his dedication too, hundreds of children benefitting.”

Malcolm is survived by wife Susan, children Matthew, Rebecca and Jenni, three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

A member of Newport Cricket Club, he was captain of the second XI through the 1960s and 1970s, and played a key role in the building and funding of the present cricket pavilion.


Malcolm with an aerial photograph of Newport

In his teaching career he was head of history of Trench Boys School and John Hunt School - as it became - and was head of the lower school on his retirement in 1986.

He was heavily involved in Newport carnival, having served as its treasurer, and being an avid fundraiser over 25 years.

His long list of other roles included being Rural Transport Officer for Shropshire with the Community Council of Shropshire from 1987 until retirement; chairman of Newport Exhibition Fund which provides educational grants; several years a member of the Boughey Trust; and chairman of Newport 's Wellington Road Playgroup for 25 years spanning the 1960s to 1980s.

With his encyclopaedic knowledge of Newport, he was the "go to" person for anybody wanting to learn more about the town, and was a popular lecturer. Generous with his knowledge and archive, pictures from his collection have regularly been published by the Shropshire Star and Newport Advertiser.

Date: 09 August 2018 | Source: Shropshire Star

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