The Saddleworth South member has served the local community in a wide range of capacities for more than 40 years and he is honoured for his public, political and charitable services in the list officially published at 22.30hrs on December 29.
Cllr Hudson – who celebrated his 78th birthday on Christmas Eve – highlights the contributions other people have made to enable him to make his mark on local life. “I realise that I am only a flag bearer – you can’t do public service unless you are backed by the public,” he said. “My wife, Kathleen, my family and the people of Saddleworth and at all kinds of local organisations and group are the ones who really deserve an award. I simply couldn’t have done any of the things that I have without their support and understanding, so the praise goes to them.
“I thought I was too old for this sort of thing to be honest, so I was very shocked when I found out about it and checked it was right. There have been many people who have made fantastic contributions to Saddleworth and Oldham and have gone without recognition like this, so for me to be given an OBE at this time in life is humbling. I’m amazed that an ordinary person like me has got this award. We are blessed to live in a wonderful place here, so I hope this news brightens everybody’s day and they know this award is for them, not me.”
John was born in Mossley and worked at Joseph Clare’s Dyeworks in Greenfield during the 1950s. It was there that he met his wife to be, Kathleen, before moving to Greenfield when they married in 1960. John worked in local government at Mossley, Audenshaw and Trafford Councils before managerial roles at Littlewoods, based at Earl Mill in Hathershaw.
He first entered local politics in 1971, initially standing as a Labour councillor. After a six-year break he switched to the Conservative Party and – in 1977 – was first elected as a Saddleworth Parish councillor: a position he holds to this day. John was also elected as representative for the former Saddleworth East ward on Oldham Council from 2002 to 2006. From 2008 he then served as a Chadderton Central ward member before coming back to represent Saddleworth South from 2012 onwards. He was also the agent for Geoffrey Dickens, the former MP for the (then) Littleborough and Saddleworth seat and stood in the high-profile three-way marginal by-election following Mr Dickens’ death in 1995.
John was elected to the office of the Mayor of Oldham for the municipal year 2013/4 and – accompanied by Kathleen as Mayoress – they put in a staggering amount of energy and time into hosting visits, attending local schools and engagements. They raised a total of £50,468 for local charities and good causes, impressing everyone they met as ambassadors for the borough. Beneficiaries of that year included the Terence O’Grady Social Club, Christie’s at Oldham, Oldham Music Centre, Oldham Support Group for Carers in Autism, Oldham Theatre Workshop and the Oldham Liaison of Ex-Servicemen Fund.
John has two daughters, Claire and Deborah, and one granddaughter, Courtney. Earlier this year he received a special honour to mark 40 years’ continuous service on Saddleworth Parish Council. This has seen four spells as Chairman and is an unbeaten record for continuous service. During this time he has also raised a further £59,500 for the Chairman’s charities. This remarkable feat was marked at the Civic Hall in Uppermill in April this year. The upstairs ballroom was renamed ‘The Hudson Suite’ in his honour with an engraved plaque and a framed dedication. A citation to his long service was also hung in the Council Chamber.