James Tilbrook lived in Tatton Street, Ordsall and was one of Salford's early Socialists. This account is a dedication by Councillor Joe Toole JP in the Salford Reporter of Friday 19th August 1932.
In the charming little Weaste Cemetery on Wednesday last (16th August 1932), a final resting place was given to "Jim" Tilbrook. Mr Tilbrook was essentially a Salfordian. He was born, bred and died in the Ordsall Lane district. I can recall him 25 years ago when I was a mere lad. Many times have I sat at his feet imbibing philosophy and economics. The economics were always sound and essentially working class, for even in those days he was a keen student of Marx and Engels. He was typical of all that is best in the English workman. He had great moral courage. When employed at one of the Ordsall engineering works over 20 years ago, he could be found outside the gates of the place where he was working, standing on a borrowed chair, urging his mates to join the Engineering Union. In the evenings he could be found on Broadway, Trafford Road, urging them to become Socialists.
Both occupations were dangerous in those days. The "sack" was almost a certainty when men did such things, but not for Tilbrook. The reason why his employers never interfered with him was because he was always one of the best "tradesmen" in the "shop". He always told young men in the Labour Movement to "be good Socialists and the best workmen in their trade", a very wise axiom.
Now he has gone to the great unknown, to join the legions of pioneers for advanced causes and advanced thought. At his graveside, a few loyal and thoughtful friends mourned an even more loyal and thoughtful friend. And his relatives in their hour of travail may find some small consolation in the reflection that many men in high and low places in the public life in England remember with gratitude the guidance and helpful support and advice they received from burly "Jim".
May his memory live long and his inspiration cause many Salford Youths to follow in his steps.