9th June 2020

Obituary: Jim Short

Trading standards lost a kind, caring and influential colleague on May 13, 2020.


By Eddie Sheret and Archie Mitchell
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Jim was a delight to be with, always smartly dressed and represented our profession with great distinction

Jim Short (April 3, 1928- May 13, 2020) was the well-respected elder statesman of the Scottish Trading Standards Institute Membership. He succumbed to COVID-19 in the residential home in Edinburgh where he had moved to be near his sons Gordon and Allan when his wife Marion died.

Jim was a delight to be with, always smartly dressed and represented our profession with great distinction. He was a very keen Institute Member at both local and national level. He joined the Committee of the Scottish Branch in 1959, becoming Chairman four years later.

Jim was elected to the Council of the Institute in 1973, serving on many committees including as Chairman of both the Fair Trading and Policy and Resources Committees, and then as Chairman of the Institute. Jim’s acclaimed contributions to the profession were honoured when he became a Fellow of the Institute at the Conference in Edinburgh in 1980. He always gave a fine address with no waste of words, being a strong ambassador for the Service who brought dignity and professionalism to his role. He was later to become a Vice President of the Institute, which he considered to be a great honour.

Until a few years ago, Jim was a regular attender at the annual meetings of the Scottish Fellows in Dunfermline as well as Scottish Branch events. He always managed to regale the ‘younger’ members with a tale or two of days before some of them were born.

A leading member of the Association for Petroleum Administration, Jim was instrumental in forming its Scottish Branch, serving as its Chairman.

As an adviser to the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and LACOTS, Jim represented Scottish views with distinction. He became an outstanding LACOTS Panel Chairman, giving clear and powerful advice to Ministers, local authority policy makers and colleagues everywhere. He also Chaired the Scottish Society of Directors in Trading Standards, becoming one of the most highly respected Chief Trading Standards Officers in the UK.

Jim first joined local government in the Chamberlain’s Department of Paisley Town Council but soon transferred to the Weights & Measures Department, where he was an assistant to RSL (Bob) Anderson.

On qualification, Jim joined Glasgow Corporation, becoming Chief Inspector for the new Weights & Measures Department in Clydebank in 1958. Jim returned to Paisley as Chief Inspector before his final appointment in 1974 as Director of Consumer Protection for the proposed Lothian Region, which came into effect in 1975. He was kind to his colleagues, assisting other colleagues who came to work in Scotland.

In his early years he played cricket for Ferguslie in Paisley and later was a keen golfer, becoming a member of both Elderslie and Lamlash golf clubs. He won the Institute’s much coveted Jean Bisgood IWMA trophy in 1974.

On retirement in 1988 he moved to Elderslie near Paisley but also had a home in Lamlash on the Isle of Arran, where he and Marion spent most of the summer months.

Jim is remembered fondly by colleagues as a man who had a life well lived. He was predeceased by his wife Marion to whom he was married for 58 years and is survived by his sons, Gordon and Allan, and their families, to whom we all send our condolences.