Tributes paid to Essex businessman Jack Hinton who founded J&D Hinton Motor Engineers in Danbury
Touching tributes have been paid to a lifelong Ipswich Town fan, talented cricketer and hardworking Essex businessman.
Jack Hinton, who has died at the age of 88, would visit his local library to read the East Anglian Daily Times to catch up on all the Blues news as the paper was not always widely available in his home town of Maldon.
He was a regular at Portman Road until just two or three years ago, and was also a passionate and talented sportsman.
Jack was the third generation of his family to play for Woodham Mortimer Cricket Club before joining a team in Little Baddow. He won numerous trophies for snooker, and golf was also a huge passion later in his life.
As well as being a talented sportsman, Jack founded J&D Hinton Motor Engineers in Danbury, near Chelmsford, in 1963. Initially servicing bikes, he built up his clientele and work load from scratch – “working every hour God sent” to make it a success, his eldest daughter Sheilagh Hinton, from Maldon, said.
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“He always wanted to do his best for us,” she said.
“He was very driven to get on with life, he was very proud and started the business from nothing.
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“He barely sat down when I was a child. He gave 110% to everything he did.”
Based at the Royal British Legion pit yard in what was a Nissan hut at the time, it was at his workplace where Jack met his wife Anne.
She had come over to Essex from Ireland in 1948 and, after training in London, worked as a nurse at St John’s Hospital in Chelmsford before taking a job at St Joseph’s Nursing Home, in Gaybowers Lane, Danbury.
It was here Jack spent his final days, but it was also where he picked Anne up for their first date.
The couple were married on November, 13 1954, but before that Jack served his country and proudly completed his National Service. He joined the 13th and 18th Royal Hussars in September 1947 and spent two years in Libya.
His discharge papers described Jack as “sensible” and said he “works well” and his “mechanical aptitude miraculously kept our tanks going”.
He came out of the Army on a Saturday in 1949 and was back at work on the Monday at Uptons in Danbury. He was an apprentice there and with Reuben Royce – also in Danbury – before running his own business until he retired in his early sixties.
His nephews, Mark and Keith Hinton, are now at the helm.
Born and educated in Woodham Mortimer, near Maldon, it was at the village school Jack met his best friend, Owen Beckwith, when he was four-years-old.
The pair both ended up running their own businesses in Danbury and were “inseparable” until Jack’s death brought their lifelong friendship to an end.
Jack was one of four children. He had three brothers, Jim, Peter and business partner David, as well as sister Joan.
He and Anne had three children, Sheilagh, Michael and Moira and five grandchildren, including eldest granddaughter Leanne who he proudly walked down the aisle in 2015. She affectionately described him as “the centre of my world.”
Jack and Anne lived in Maldon throughout their married life, with Jack buying the family home in Wentworth Meadows outright for £3,500 – he never had a mortgage.
Shelagh added: “He was a great provider and supporter. He was my rock. You could go to him for anything. He was very caring and had a great sense of humour.”
Jack’s quick wit and straight talking are fondly remembered by his family and friends alike.
Sheilagh added: “He had no airs and graces. Life was for living and to get on with things.”
Anne died on April 1, 2016 and it was after that Jack’s own health began to decline, following a number of years of devotedly caring for his wife, who was six years his senior.
He spent four weeks at Chelmsford’s Broomfield Hospital in March this year with aspiration pneumonia and was not expected to survive.
However, he defied all the odds and was a resident at St Joseph’s from March 30 until he died on October 27.
A funeral service for Jack will be held at All Saints’ Church in Maldon High Street on Friday, November 24 at 2pm.