‘A big man, a big presence and a big loss to all of us’

Jim Smith MBE and his wife Brenda
Jim Smith MBE and his wife Brenda

Tributes have been paid to four-time Crawley mayor Jim Smith MBE, who died last week, aged 89.

Jim, who retired in 2010, was made an Honorary Freeman and Alderman of the Borough of Crawley in 2012, and was made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in January in recognition of his public service. A talented sportsman, he played football for Crystal Palace and was captain of Three Bridges for many years. But it was his work to secure the town one of the most enviable theatres in the area – the Hawth – that was to become one of his proudest achievements.