James ‘Jim’ Morris , one of four brothers, was born in Wakefield in 1925. He commenced his working life on the railways (a job that his father obtained for him in an attempt to keep him from going to war). Whilst there he sustained a leg injury which affected him for the rest of his life.
Nevertheless, despite this injury, in January 1945 he joined the RAF and served in the Far East (Malaya and Singapore). Following service in the RAF he returned home and obtained a job with the West Riding County Council in the Highways Department. A little later he joined the West Riding County Council Weights and Measures Department. Jim came into the profession later in life and he qualified in 1960 (a copy of his Certificate of Qualification can be seen in the Institute’s book Three Yards A Penny – The Poetry and History of the Weights and Measures Inspectorate).
He worked initially as an inspector in the West Riding before briefly going to Leeds City. However, he later returned to the West Riding, where he worked under Chief Officer Alfred Wolfenden.
He worked extensively on the new electronic ‘In-motion Rail Weighbridges’, which were first introduced into the UK in 1968 by Hawker Siddeley. This was a revolutionary system of weighing at the time. Ten of these were installed in the UK and the West Riding of Yorkshire, being the largest authority in the country, had five of these systems installed at various coal mines located around the county.
In 1968 with the passing of the Trade Descriptions Act Jim was appointed Divisional Inspector and was responsible for the new Department enforcing this Act. He headed a large Department containing many ex-police officers who were recruited to work for the Weights and Measures Department, specifically to enforce the Trade Descriptions Act.
Jim was a practical man and an extremely good carpenter, making the staircase in his own home. Another example of his work was a beautiful small table, the top of which was made from the mahogany base of an old beamscale. This small table truly displayed his ability as a carpenter.
Jim was never heard to swear or complain about anyone. He was a devout Christian and regularly attended the local Church throughout his life and attended Sunday services until the last few months of his life. At his funeral Service the church was packed (quite remarkable for someone aged almost 97). He was described in the eulogy as “Our beloved Jim”. A gentleman, a friend to all, a wise counsellor and a true Christian.
He assisted many young men in their studies and would always give assistance in order to help them pass their examinations. In a wider sphere Jim would help anyone in need and frequently took refugees from countries torn apart by war and strife into his home, where they stayed for several months.
Jim’s love and affection for his wife and son were paramount. He was married to Eileen for almost 60 years and they had a son, John (who qualified as an Environmental Health Officer). Both Eileen and John predeceased him.