Saturday, 19 January 2019

Some of the WELL KNOWN PERSONS and WONDERFUL CHARACTERS who thankfully graced our town (deceased)

There are so many persons who I guess would fall into this category, and obviously it would be such a challenge to make this comprehensive, but it's something we have been hoping to get round to now for sometime.  If we can only make a small contribution it would be great. We thought best to keep things in alphabetical order so we can then index with ease in the future.


Fred Bamber

Rev. Fred Bamber

The death occurred on Sunday at his Bristol home of Canon Fred Bamber former vicar of St. James Church Haslingden (from a obituary report dated 2nd November 1978).

He left the district in 1978 after 16 years to take up a appointment in Mellor. Also the rural Dean of Accrington, he retired about one year ago because of failing health. He was a rotarian for many years being a member of the Rossendale Club. During his services in the Valley he was on the Board of Governors at Haslingden Grammar School and also at the County Secondary School and Chairman of Managers at the St. James CE Junior School.  As Chairman of the Haslingden and District Moral Welfare Committee he was one of the founder members of the local "Feed the Minds" Committee. In 1962 he was made Rural Dean of Accrington and in 1965 he was appointed Honorary Canon. 

Miss Evelyn Boyson

Miss Evelyn M Boyson of "Wimlington", Park Avenue, Haslingden, who for many years was organist at the Manchester Road Methodist Church, Haslingden and also had a long association with the Haslingden Choir, died on Wednesday at Springhill Nursing Home, Higher Cloughfold (as printed in obituary dated 5th July 1980). Miss Boyson who was 69

Miss Boyson taught music privately in London. Later, she served as organist at the Stubbins Congregational Church for two and a half years before going on to study music at the Royal Manchester College of Music as a full time student for six years. She was one of the first mobile music teachers with the Manchester Education Department. Later she became Senior Music mistress at the Blackburn High School for Girls.


Rhodes Boyson

Rhodes Boyson with his mother


Christopher P. Carlisle
(Captain Dove)

COLOURFUL Haslingden character "Captain Dove" died from suffocation as a result of a Epilepsy attack some time around April 1978. He had lived in Hazel Street, Rising Bridge since 1976.

The Captain was best known for his strange manner of dress.  An eccentric young man and was often seen wearing a sombrero and a Mexican bandit style bandolier containing coloured felt tip pens.

He was a talented artist and poet and claimed his name symbolises peace. Captain Dove also did quite a lot of good work for charity and had been selling badges for the Pat Seed Fund shortly before his death

Ivor Cooper

Mr William Ivor Cooper, of Haslingden Hall Care Home and formerly of Haslingden passed away on Saturday April 25th 2020 aged 87 whilst in hospital.

Ivor, also known to many as Bill, started his career as a teacher in Leeds and then progressed to a deputy head at St James School, Haslingden before getting a headship for schools in Oldham up to his retirement. He was a methodist local preacher for almost 60 years and was a member of West End Methodist Church, Oswaldtwistle where a memorial service will take place later in the year. In his younger days he was a football league linesman and referee to lower leagues.

He was a parliamentary candidate in Accrington for the Liberal Democrat party in the two elections in 1974. He enjoyed many holidays abroad and travelled all over the world.

He leaves family of niece Karen, and nephews Derek and David. He was a very dear friend to Stuart and Joyce and a good friend to many.

Jack Cordingley

Jack Cordingley in his Maserati (click to enlarge)

John (Jack) Stancliffe Cordingley of Gregory Fold, Helmshore died on 1st July 2010 age 93

Jack is probably best known from his motor car business Cordingley and Sons, which had their showrooms at the bottom of Warner Street.  They had the franchise for Austin Cars and also had premises across the road on Helmshore Road were they did car repairs and sold car parts etc.

Jack drove a formula One racing car to victory around Silverstone. He loved his own Maserati racing car (shown above). Jack also did 8 separate London to Brighton rallies with his friend Donald Heyworth driving both a 1907 Wolseley and also a 1924 Rolls Royce.

Jack served 6 years as a dispatch rider in the Royal Corps of Signals during WWII and says they were among the best years of his life.  He swam for Haslingden in the Lancashire County League, also he was at various times Secretary and Treasurer to the Haslingden Swimming Club. He was captain of Rossendale Golf Club in 1981.

Bob Emison

"Bob Emison was born in Haslingden in 1902.  He attended the Wesleyan Day School to the age of twelve when he went to work half-time at Grane Manufacturing Company.   At the age of thirteen he became an apprentice at Haslingden Printing Works, John Street. Apart from his wartime service in the RAF he spent the whole of his working life there and ended his career as  Managing Director in 1967.  As the works apprentice he printed the first copy of the Haslingden Borough Selling News in 1921 and the last copy in April 1974.   Bob was a passionate Methodist both at Salem and Manchester Road Chapels.  He was a Scout Leader with the 40th Rossendale (St Peter's) Scout Group and a Special Constable.
Bob died in 1975

John. W.H Gastall

John Gastall

Mr. John Gastall, a former professional soccer player who devoted much of his life to the world of eduction, died last Wednesday at East Lancs Hospice in Blackburn. (taken from a newspaper obituary dated 9th July 1997)

Mr. Gastall of Colldale Terrace, Haslingden was 84. He was born in Oswaldtwistle and, in 1933, began teaching at St.Saviours Primary School, Bacup, and then at Tunstead School, Stacksteads until he became an ARP officer in blitzed Coventry in the Second World War.

When he left teaching in 1973 he was one of Rossendale's longest serving headteachers, having served for 24 years in that capacity at Waterfoot Junior School. He was a former secretary of the Bacup branch of the National Union of Teachers and was presented with a Long Service Award.

He was equally well known for his sporting prowess.  He joined Blackburn Rovers at the age of 15 and then played for Burscough Rangers while he attended teacher training college.  He later joined Darwen FC, Oldham Athletic and Bacup Borough FC, for whom he scored 41 goes in 35 matches.  He was then signed by Burnley FC, then a first Division club and scored after four minutes in his debut, playing in place of the injured legend, Tommy Lawton. The match was lost, however, by two goals to one with opponents, Aston Villa, fielding six internationals. He played 64 times for Burnley, including 21 League games.  He later joined Accrington Stanley and later became a referee and linesman.

He played for Haslingden Cricket Club from 1931 and was first team captain in 1946 and in 1953 when Haslingden won the Lancashire League Championship for the first time since 1920.  He captained the same side in 1973 in a celebration match.  He was a qualifed cricket coach and had links with Old Trafford.


David Halstead


Donald Robert Heyworth

Donald Heyworth of Rothdene, Helmshore Road died at the age of 70 (Rossendale Free Press obituary - newspaper dated 7th June 1980)

He had been the Managing Director of the J and J McLerie, the Bacup footwear firm.

He was the former President of the Lancashire footwear Manufacturers Association and a member of the Kay Street Baptist Church in Rawtenstall. 

Mr. Heyworth had a long interest in vintage forms of transport especially cars. He was a member of the White Ensign Association, the Railway Preservation Society, and veteran and vintage car clubs. Among the old vehicles he collected were a vintage fire engine which he bought from Bury Fire Brigade, an old fairground caravan, two vintage motor cycles including a 1914 belt driven Triumph and a 1926 Rolls Royce Phantom 1. He also owned a E type Jaguar.

He regular did the London to Brighton Vintage Car Rally along with his friend Jack Cordingley.

He also purchased Haslingden's Big Lamp when it was decided to remove it from its old Market Place position, which for many years was seen within his garden at "Rothdene".

(Click over any of the above photos to enlarge) 


Fred Holden

Fred in his little ironmongery/grocery empire on Blackburn Rd (opp Maudlin Bank)

Fred was a lovely man who was loved and remembered by so many local people.  Some of us have such special memories from the days he had his little ironmongery/grocer shop out Blackburn Road. Fred was also a prisoner of war for four years who thankfully did eventually escape. It is said that Fred was the only person in the Valley to be mentioned on radio by Nazi propagandist Lord Haw Haw, who informed listeners he was alive... Fred also helped out in the community regular playing Father Christmas in local charitable events.

"Fred Howden (Holden) was a special chap,
Who ran the local ironmongery,
If he didn’t have it in, he would get it for you,
He got me my first ladders and more ladders later,
I got my copper tacks from him to nail the lead so trim,
He was one of them owd school mongers who seemed to have everyfin (even paraffin),
Tha could buy a nail or two from him without having to buy a full box!

His shop wiffed strong, as soon as tha hoppened dooer,
Wit smell of open Paraffin, which were called “Alladin Pink” (a think!),
It was housed in a great big tin tub he hand pumped, to bring it up from below,
Nearby would be the firelighters and bundles of wood, with matches close at hand.
He had brooms and buckets and washing lines and everything a house would need.
But soon his little empire took on a new strange look, to include many items of grocery!
You could get fags, biscuits, tins of soup, chocolate, loaves of bred, washing up liquid
And maybe another couple of hundreds things as well! We all loved his miniature emporium.

Away from shop, Fred loved his bingo and travelled far for it, to Blackburn twice a week,
He towd me he got lucky, (pretty regular) a think.
He had other talents too, as Father Christmas at many a doo.
He was one of them special folk who is sadly missed by all,

Lets hope Fred up theer thas having a gret big ball"……

Willie Horan 

Willie Horan (Click over to enlarge)
A lovely man whom I had the pleasure to work with both in industry and again being his agent for several gigs which he performed around the local workingmens clubs.  He was a great entertainer and well known throughout the town and much liked.  He is remembered for taking part as "Queen" whilst Georgie Berry played "King" in the Borough's celebrations for the Diamond Jubilee.

Willie as Queen, along with Georgie Berry as King
(Click over photo to enlarge)

Kaziemierz Jagodinski (Kash)

Kash (Click over photo)

Obituary for Kaz who sadly died on Sept 29th 2010. 

He was for a long time a resident at "Bentwood" in Carrs and was also the owner of the late "Flip Inn". I knew Cash and he was a gentleman in every respect and will be sadly missed, but did not know that he had been through what he had been through - here is the "obituary".

A survivor of 11 Nazi concentration camps who travelled the UK in the Billy Smart Circus before settling in Rossendale has died aged 84. Kaziemierz Jagodinski, who was known as Kash and the ‘Del Boy of Haslingden’, died of pneumonia on Wednesday September 29.

Yesterday his grandson Kris Flannigan paid tribute to his Polish-born grandad, recalling a number of his ‘colourful’ tales. As a teenager Kash was held captive in 11 German concentration camps, where he was forced to clean and cook for Nazi soldiers. He managed to escape from every one of the camps and, on the final time, he managed to avoid being recaptured. Kris said: “He used to hide in hay bales and sleep in fields.

"Sometime he would wake up being kicked by German soldiers. “He said if he’d been older he would not have been able to to deal with the things he had to endure. “It must have been horrific, but he used to tell the stories and take the mick out himself for getting recaptured.”

Kash arrived in England in 1947 and joined the Billy Smart Circus shortly after. He performed as a clown and an acrobat and was also responsible for transporting 11 elephants between towns. While in Glasgow in 1954 he met his future wife Marjory, who travelled in the circus with him for five years.

He also owned a coffee shop in London, where he got to know the notorious Kray twins, Cliff Richard and Richard Branson. But the couple’s travels led them to Rossendale and they decided to settle at Carrs village, Haslingden, in the 1960s. They owned The Flip Inn and Bentwood, before moving to Helmshore, where Kash worked as a watch and antiques dealer.

Kris, 26, said: “He was a colourful character and one on his own. "Everybody knew him as Haslingden’s Del Boy because he was a real wheeler-dealer. "He had a fantastic life and he will be missed by a lot of people.”

Kash leaves wife Marjory, 75, their son, also called Kash, daughter-in-law Lorrie-Dona, and three grandchildren, Kris, Kaz, 21, and Conor, 18.


Norman Knight

Norman Knight
(Click over to enlarge)

Norman Knight formerly of The Close, Rising Bridge, and also Haslingden and Goodshaw sadly died in September 1984 aged 73 years.

Mr Knight has we lot from the Carr Mill gang always called him was a lovely man who was well known throughout the town and county as Father Christmas and was regularly seen at Christmas time performing his duties in Lewis's, Kendal's and Debenhams in Manchester.

Norman did lots of work for local charities especially visiting Schools, pensioners parties, childrens parties and helping the disabled. He was also a committee member of the Haslingden and Helmshore Old Age Pensioners.

Norman was also the standard bearer for the Dunkirk Veterans Association and was always seen carrying the colours on armistice.

He was a prisoner of war for over five years, with two of those years spent in the notorious Belsen.  

Norman as Father Christmas
Norman as Standard Bearer for Dunkirk Veterans
Click over photos to enlarge


Vinko Mankad

Dave Molloy

Dave Molloy - Folk singer and Musician

In 2018 Joan (his wife) kindly sent me a short history from Dave's life. Dave took up singing and music after he had been made redundant from his main job after 40 years.  He was doing well but after only a few short years he contracted "Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis" which saw his lungs scar over and his last gig was done with his oxygen tank on stage. Most of the audience that night were fellow folkies and they applauded as if nothing was wrong.  But sadly over the next 12 months he became more and more poorly and died at his home on 21st February 2011.  It's great to know that members of his family including his Grandchildren are also following their Grandad's footsteps loving music themselves.  Please click on the links below to hear some of Dave's fabulous music.

Dave performing "Well I guess it does'nt matter anymore" (Buddy Holly cover)


Stanley Oakes

Stanley Oakes - Click over to enlarge

Stanley Oakes was very well known throughout Haslingden, although he spent his latter part of his life living in Accrington.  Sadly Stanley passed about 7 years ago (2012).

Stanley was known for his "inventive" ways, I remember him telling me about his "Cash Register" invention and many other things too.

He was also well known for his theatricals and very proud to own a equity card, which allowed him to perform regular extra parts on television especially on Coronation Street.


Jimmy Parkinson

Jimmy Parkinson outside of his little shop at the bottom of Grane Road
(Click over photo to enlarge)

Jimmy Parkinson of Dean Road was a well known likeable chap who had his little shop at the bottom of Grane Road selling flowers and other small items. He was especially known throughout the town for his work as a active member of the St. John's Ambulance which he had served with for over 27 years.

Jimmy was educated at St. Mary's RC school which he attended up until he was 11 year old. Then Jimmy attended a special school for physically handicapped in Bolton of which he was the head boy for a couple of years.  On leaving school he started work as a gardener growing flowers in a nursery near Salmesbury which he did for 7 years before starting his own business. 

Jim Ramsbottom (Hans Lindubar)

Jim Ramsbottom

Jim was a well known entertainer who for many years did summer seasons as
"Hans Lindubar" primarily a yodeller and whistler at the Tyrolean Show which was held at the St. Annes Pavillion and also at the Welcome Inn at Marton. Jim gave up his job as a machine mechanic in 1969 and started treading the boards with his first appearance at the Haslingden Congregational Sunday School.

He tragically died after having a serious fall at his home on Dean Road, Flaxmoss on or around the 15th March 2012 and he was aged 77. Jim was a ex pupil of the Haslingden Secondary Modern School.

In more recent years he had played minor roles on the TV being Ronny Renaldo (Hans Lindubar) in the Boys from the Black Stuff, he also took on extra work in Coronation Street and Emmerdale.


Tom Riley

Tom Riley

Tom Riley of Vale Street and Haslingden who worked for many years as a warehouseman at Robinsons Mill.

Tom spent many years as 2nd in command at the St. James's Church Lads Brigade with his friend John Stanton.

Tom also found time in later times to be a disc jockey were he entertained at many local functions. 


Beatrice Shipstone

Beatrice Shipstone (Click over to enlarge)

Beatrice was born on 18th June 1900 and was 100 years old at her death in 2001.

Miss Beatrice Shipstone of Regent Street was a fine teacher of ballet dancing for over 50 years.  In recognition of her services to ballet she was awarded ballets highest accolade by being made a "Fellow of the British Ballet Organization".

Beatrice taught at the Eccles Grammar School and also at the Hollymount Convent at Greenmount alongside doing her own classes back in Haslingden. 

Miss Shipstone in 1931


John Stanton

John Stanton

John Stanton of Harcourt Road, Accrington and formerly of Haslingden died on Saturday August 20th 2011 at the Woodlands Nursing Home, aged 93.
John will be fondly remembered especially for his work with the St. James Parish Church Lads and Girls Brigade where he was a member for over 50 years and would be best remembered as Major Stanton, receiving the brigade bronze award in 1984.  He was former worshipful master of the Rossendale Forest Masonic Lodge. 
John served on Minesweepers during the war at Scapa Flow, Africa and Rosife.
He worked as a footwear operative with Starline, Rawtenstall, as a cotton spinner at Sykeside, Haslingden and Woodnook, Accrington before retiring from the Nori Brick Co of Accrington. 

(Click over to enlarge)


Robin Tuohey

Robin had many swimming successes which included whilst he was on holidays at Butlins Holiday Camp, he gained first places in the Breast stroke, back stroke and one length free style. He was the North Lancashire Breast stroke champion. 


Jack Waddington

Mr. John Thomas Waddington, who was 89 and lived at St. Peters Place, Haslingden died on 18th April 2002 at the Turfcote Nursing Home (information taken from a newspaper obituary).

Mr. Waddington worked for 51 years at J.H. Birtwistle, Haslingden starting as a warehouse boy and working his way up to Production Manager.

He served as a sidesman for 70 years at St. James's Church, Haslingden and was stage manager for many church productions and pantomimes.

He was also one of the main organisers of the inter-town "It's a Knockout" events, raising money for various charities.  In the war he had been a dispatch rider, serving abroad.

A founder member of Haslingden Sports Centre and chairman of the Sports Council, Mr. Waddington was also a member of Haslingden Cricket Club and Haslingden Conservative Club.  

John Walsh

John Walsh (Click over to enlarge)

John Walsh of 32 Poplar Street, Haslingden, a former Mayor of Haslingden and one of Haslingden's most prominent R.C. citizens died on Wednesday last age 55 - (from a report of his obituary dated May 1976.

In 1972 he received the honour of being made a Knight of Saint Silvester - a decoration given by the Pope for people in the Catholic Church who where involved in public life.

He became the Town's youngest Mayor in 1959 having first been elected to the Council in 1950. He was a Alderman for the best part of his 20 years Council service.

He served in the R.A.F. from 1941 to 1946. He was the works manager at V and H Ivanovic Ltd., on Hargreaves Street. Also he was a JP for a period.

He was extremely prominent in public life being connected with welfare work of Old people for many years and was a former Chairman of the Rossendale Amateur Operatics Society. He was a lifelong member of St. Mary's R.C. Church and a former grand Knight of the Haslingden Council of Knights of St. Columbia.


Choppy Warburton


Gertrude Warburton


Arthur Schofield Watson

Haslingden's first and only honarary alderman, Mr. Arthur Schofield Watson of Westcliffe, Well Bank, died in Bury General Hospital on Tuesday, five months after celebrating his 90th birthday. (taken from the 26th February 1972 obituary).

Mr. Watson devoted much of his life to serving the people of Haslingden and when he retired in November 1965, had completed 37 years continuous membership of the Town Council. He held the record and one which cannot now be broken for his length of service as Mayor. His first term of office was from 1930 to 1932 and during the Second World War he held the position for four years. In September 1947 he was made a freeman of the Borough and his retirement brought him the position of Honarary Alderman.

Mr. Watson came to Haslingden in 1906 when he was appointed the Manager of the ten Holden Wood Bleaching Company. He took a interest in the activities of the 
Conservative Association and was elected Councillor in 1928. He became a Alderman in 1941. Mr. Watson was the son in law of the late Major David Halstead.

Mr. Watson was at one time a Magistrate and also Chairman of the Rossendale Bench.

Mr Watson who fought in the Boer War was actively associated with the Territorials and when war came in 1914 he was appointed Major, second in command of a East Lancashire Regiment.

Has a young man he was a active sportsman and was a noted long distance runner.  He was also a successful breeder of Airedale, Bedlington, Border and Scottish Terriors. At one time he had as many as 100 dogs in his kennels and earned him a reputation as a show judge.

Throughout his life he had a great love of Cricket and closely followed the fortunes of Haslingden Cricket Club of which he had been a member for over 60 years. 

 A prominent free mason he attained the Grand Officer rank of PAGDC England and was a member of Haslingden's Lodge of Commerce 215, Hazeldene 4681. 


John T. Wood

Mr. John T. Wood on right with Lord Derby

Lots of information to follow


Graham Woodcock


Doris Worsley

Miss Doris Worsley

One of the town's most respected residents who spent her life in public service Miss Doris Worsley, Borough Librarian of Haslingden for 20 years, died in Accrington Victoria Hospital in the early hours of Tuesday morning.  She was 55 years of age and lived in Carr Hall Street. (taken from the 23rd December 1967 - Newspaper Obituary.

A member of an established local family, Miss Worsley was the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Albert Worsley.

She was a former student of Haslingden Grammar School.  She entered the Corporations service and became a Library assistant in the late 1920s when she was 16 years of age. Always immensely keen and dedicated to her profession she became a Fellow of the Librarians Association in 1939.  She took over the vacant post of Borough Librarian in 1947 when Miss Ivy Hill left the district.

Miss Worsley devoted her life to improving the Library and its facilities for the benefit of the public of Haslingden.

Miss Worsley was a member of St. Johns Church, Stonefold.

Lots more will be added shortly