Jack Gilmore was one of Durham Photographic Society’s unsung heroes. A modest man with a keen sense of humour he was widely acknowledged by members at large to be a master of comic audio-visual presentations. For successive presidents he was also respected as the man who kept the weekly programmes running on shedule. He was our sound man responsible for miking up visiting speakers and judges and was always ready to remind the president when it was time to kick off the show. And when he felt tea breaks were in danger of over-running he would prompt the president it was time to quit chatting and get back to business.
A long time member of DPS West Cornforth-born Jack’s keen interest in film and movie photography was sparked by a shop window advert for an assistant cinema projectionist at his local picture house when he was still fresh from school. Working in the projection room Jack’s interest led to his home produced movies and pictures, and eventually to his hilarious send ups of movie ‘trailers’ for DPS AV shows.
His main job was with Durham County Council Education Department and because of his photographic skills he was appointed visual aids officer and had to produce films and photos for the authority. This led to many slide shows for local organisations and various youth clubs.
Jack worked in a number of roles for Durham County Council and at the time of his retirement he was administrative officer for Durham Police Authority
National Service saw him with the RAF in Egypt during the Suez Crisis. His family back home were alarmed when they discovered this meant he had to carry a gun at all times despite a serious arm injury he sustained in a fall when he was 11 that meant he had no chance of him ever hitting the right target.
They were also amused that he had the job of driving an RAF bus in Egypt despite being blessed with an eratic sense of direction.
Jack was married to Hazel more than 50 years ago and their home was in Coxhoe close to his West Cornforth birthplace. Both were devoted members of the local Methodist Church community and he played a major part in the planning of a new chapel building a few years ago. Jack wrote many of the annual pantomime scripts at the church and also appeared as Dame on numerous occasions.
It was in the new St Andrews Methodist Church at Coxhoe that Jack’s funeral took place on Thursday June 7, followed by commital at Durham Crematorium. Minister the Rev Susan Richardson conducted the services. The church was crowded with devoted family and friends and mourners were led by his widow Hazel and children Andrew, Alison and Kathryn and Jack’s grandson Jack.
DPS was represented by John Attle, Tony Grriffiths, Janet Thackray and me.
Jack Gilmore was a lovely man whose quiet charm and dry humour endeared him to many.
Jack Gilmore by Jack Gilmore