BARROW’S former Mayor and former Councillor Jim Parks was one of the town’s most memorable characters - and his career was filled with memorable occasions.

From taking hard stances of issues one day, to wearing clown make up the next, Mr Parks was a mayor who brought character to the role.

In 1990, The Mail reported on his famous response to fellow councillors when he declared that ‘if you don’t like me, I don’t give a damn’ during the mayor making ceremony in May of that year.

The newly-elected Mayor went on to make his feelings known to those in attendance.

He said: “If some of you want to stay outside the council chamber deliberately when the mace comes in, that’s your affair.

“But I think the elected members have shown contempt for the office of mayor and the public by their actions.”

After making the outburst, the Mayor went on to face the entire council, filled with both Conservative and Labour members, and invited everyone to meet him later for a celebratory drink at the end of council business.

He later added: “You are firstly elected to represent the people of this town - not just yourself.

“You come in here to represent them and you are letting them down.”

He was able to bring the atmosphere back to one of calm after his ceremony and even received praise from the previous mayor, Councillor Steve Smart.

“He has done a marvellous public relations job for this, his adopted town, and has always retained a sense of humour about him," he said.

In August, the Mail reported when Barrow AFC received a donation of £2,700 from Mr Parks. He had donated a total of £7,000 to various local bodies from the borough’s grant panel.