Wollaston has lost one of its most prominent and respected parishioners by the death of Mr Wm Jas Cooke, the proprietor and landlord of the Nag’s Head Hotel, which occurred early on Thursday morning at the aged of 66.
Mr Cooke was a son of the late Mr Thomas Cooke, and in his early days joined the teaching profession, serving his pupil teachership at Wollaston Board School, going later to St Edmunds School, Northampton.
On the death of his father some forty years ago, Mr Cooke came back to Wollaston and took what is now the hotel and the homestead, making considerable alteration. He became actively associated with the public life of the parish, sitting on the local Councilm and in due time becoming its chairman until his retirement six years ago.
On the District Sub-Committee and the Rushden Old Age Pensions Committee he served for a time, and was also on the District Committee of the Licensed Victuallers Association, and was one of its auditors for the county.
He was an assessor and collector of income tax, and the chairman of the Wollaston Gas Co. He was also a district agent for Messrs Phipps and Co., of Northampton, and found time to carry on a successful poultry farm.
He was a Conservative in politics, and as recently as the last County Council election acted as agent for the marquis of Northampton. He was an Oddfellow, and a trustee of the prince of Wales Lodge (M.U.). Possessing a charming personality, he made hosts of friends with all classes.
He was twice married, and leaves a widow, one son, Mr Rowland Douglas Cooke, a farmer of Odell Wold, and one daughter Miss Phyllis Cooke, of Ramsgate, the elder daughter having passed away only a very few weeks ago. One son was killed in the war.
The funeral is fixed for Saturday afternoon, and it is a special request that no flowers or representation from public bodies shall attend.