Flags are flying at half-mast at Penarth Town Council’s HQ at West House in Stanwell Rd today to mark the passing of a former Mayor of Penarth and former councillor Charles J. S. Curran.
Mr Curran died at the end of February but the council was only formally notified by his family today . The flags will remain at half mast until Cllr Curran’s funeral.
Cllr Curran entered civic life late in his career after surviving bowel cancer. He was 71 years old when he became a Penarth councillor and 72 when he became Mayor of Penarth in 2005. Earlier in his career he had been a member of the Liberal Party but switched to Labour prior to his election to Penarth Town Council .
Cllr Curran often referred openly to his divorce in 1972 and the expensive battle he fought for custody of his daughter Ann – a legal struggle which he won, but which he said cost him “an absolute fortune” – £22,000 at 1974 prices. He said he had a “great deal of sympathy” with the Fathers for Justice Movement .
A devout Roman Catholic, Cllr Curran was educated at Prior Park School, Bath where he got to know Cormac Murphy O’Connor – later to become a cardinal, Archbishop of Westminster and head of the Catholic Church in Britain.
Cllr Curran did voluntary work as a Home Office prison visitor for many years. His constant companion was his pet Labrador-terrier and one of charities he selected to support in his mayoral year was the Dogs’ Trust . His other great passion was the sea; he was a member of the Society for Nautical Research and had thousands of nautical books in his library.