James William Sleigh Godding was the last Mayor of the town of Plymouth before its amalgamation with Devonport and Stonehouse (his successor Thomas Baker although appointed in 1913, the year before the amalgamation, was, due to the exigencies of the First World War, mayor from 1913 through to 1916). Godding served on various committees, chairing many, including the Free Library, Special Purposes, Pensions and the Watch Committee, he was Mayor for 1912-13.
During his year in office he had the honour of presiding over the establishment of the first concrete bathing facilities at Tinside. He announced to all that he hoped that Tinside would not only be patronised by bathers but that somehow room would also be found for those who ‘love to watch the many twinkling smiles of Father Ocean or to spend a quiet hour in peaceful communion with nature!’.
Mayor Godding lived at No.2 Windsor Villas – one of the large detached properties on the eastern side of Lockyer Street –and he was a JP, freemason and councillor for the Vintry Ward.