Tributes paid to last Motherwell provost

Willie Wilson
Willie Wilson

The last man to hold to title of Motherwell provost, Willie Wilson, has passed away at the age of 89.

An engineer to trade he served as a councillor for 57 years representing various wards around the Flemington and Muirhouse areas on Motherwell and Wishaw Burgh, Motherwell District and North Lanarkshire councils.

Mr Wilson enjoyed a long spell as chairman of housing at Motherwell District Council before being asked to become provost for the two years before reconstruction.

He continued to serve on the new North Lanarkshire Council for the Knowetop ward until 2007.

Bellshill councillor Harry Curran, a Labour colleague for 23 years, paid tribute.

He said: “When I was first elected in 1984 Willie was a great help to a young councillor.

“He was always an affable man and I don’t think I remembering him ever raising his voice, but he always got his point across and was respected by everyone.

“He’ll be a sad loss, and with so many of his contemporaries having also passed in recent years, it feels like the end of an era.”

Uddingston and Bellshill MSP Richard Lyle, with whom he shared many battles across the chamber, added: “During my time on the council it was a pleasure to work with Willie.

As housing convener, he backed my plan to demolish the Jewel Scheme flats.

“He was also an excellent provost and my sympathies now are with his family.”

North Lanarkshire provost Jean Jones added: “Willie worked tirelessly for his community and is remembered fondly by all who knew him.

“My thoughts are with his family and friends at his very sad time.”

Mr Wilson loved the work of Robert Burns and was a keen supporter of the town twinning with Schweinfurt.

Mr Wilson was previously married to the late Barbara, and is survived by his second, wife Liz, four children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

His funeral takes place on Friday at 2.45pm in Motherwell South Parish Church, then 4pm at Daldowie.