Tributes to master clogger
STUART GREER email@example.com @stuartgreer
TRIBUTES have been paid to a talented clogmaker whose customers included royalty, a Prime Minister in waiting and a Hollywood star.
Jack Crawshaw worked in the family business on Millar Barn Lane, Waterfoot, from a boy until his retirement.
He made clogs for dancers including the Britannia Coconutters and took orders as far afield as New Zealand.
One of his customers was the actor Buddy Ebsen, who starred as Jed Clampett in sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies.
Jack was also asked to make a pair of clogs which were presented to the Queen during her sil- ver jubilee visit to Preston in 1977, and Tory leader Margaret Thatcher when she visited the Valley that same year.
Jack died at home in Bacup on September 28, aged 96. His wife of 54 years Ruth died in 2004.
Jack’s son John Crawshaw paid tribute to a ‘gentle and gifted man’.
He said: “He was kind and helpful to others. Even though he was a private man he was very well known for his clogging.
“He was a wonderful craftsman. Clog dancing teams from all over the world ordered from my dad.
“One of his proudest moments was when he was asked to make a pair of clogs which were presented to the Queen. That was a great honour.”
Away from his day job Jack enjoyed hobbies of woodturning and metalwork.
In the Second World War he served first in the Waterfoot Home Guard, then in the 8th Army in North Africa.
But his experience of war as a ‘desert rat’ haunted him for the rest of his life.
John said: “Dad didn’t speak much of the war other than to say it was five years of his life he would never get back.
“He was seriously injured when the Germans bombed a school in Tripoli.
“He lost 37 of his friends that day and spent three months in hospital recovering.
“The fact he survived is miraculous. But he suffered from nightmares from those experiences.
“Despite it all, he knew what he did was his duty and he took part in the Remembrance Day parades in Bacup to honour his fallen friends.”
Jack was born in Newchurch, known in local dialect as ‘Kirk’ and called himself a ‘Kirker’.
He is believed to have been one of the last remaining speakers of the Rossendale dialect.
His funeral service was due to be held on Thursday, October 5, at Burnley Crematorium.
Clogs in Jack Crawshaw’s shop window on Millar Barn Lane in Waterfoot, pictured in 1976
Jack Crawshaw worked in the family business in Waterfoot from a boy until retirement
Actor Buddy Ebsen, pictured here in The Beverly Hillbillies with Irene Ryan, was one of Jack Crawshaw’s customers