Hus­band’s trib­ute after death of for­mer may­oress

Rossendale Free Press - - Front Page - JON MACPHER­SON

TRIB­UTES have been paid fol­low­ing the death of a com­mu­nity stal­wart and for­mer may­oress of Rossendale.

Dorothy Atkin­son ran the pop­u­lar Ba­con Butty Shop on Hud Hey Road in Hasling­den for 22 years un­til 1993 when her hus­band Ge­of­frey be­came Mayor of Rossendale.

The great-grand­mother later served as a Labour coun­cil­lor in the Green­field ward in the 1990s, and after her re­tire­ment do­nated her time to sev­eral or­gan­i­sa­tions across the Val­ley.

Dorothy, of Hud Hey Road, Hasling­den, suf­fered a frac­tured hip in Au­gust after a fall and passed away at Royal Black­burn Hos­pi­tal on Wed­nes­day, Novem­ber 1 after a short bat­tle with pneu­mo­nia. She was 85.

Her hus­band of 65 years Ge­of­frey said she was a ‘won­der­ful and car­ing per­son’.

He said: “It was a shock when she died. She was de­vel­op­ing de­men­tia but she still had con­trol of it and en­joyed life. She had a fall in Au­gust and frac­tured her hip. It stemmed from there. She de­vel­oped pneu­mo­nia.

“She loved be­ing out with peo­ple, trav­el­ling and keep­ing busy.

“She loved help­ing peo­ple and was a won­der­ful per­son with a good sense of hu­mour. She was a very car­ing per­son and looked out for peo­ple. We have had a lot of cards and mes­sages. She will be re­mem­bered and missed by a lot of peo­ple.”

Dorothy moved to Rossendale from York­shire in the 1970s and ini­tially worked as a ma­chin­ist in Clay­ton-le-Moors. She then ran the pop­u­lar Ba­con Butty shop which won a rep­u­ta­tion as hav­ing the ‘best ba­con butties in the coun­try’.

Re­tired univer­sity re­search tech­ni­cian Ge­of­frey, 89, said: “My wife en­joyed work­ing there and meet­ing lots of peo­ple. It was quite a pop­u­lar place and we had lots of reg­u­lar cus­tomers. She also re­ally loved be­ing the May­oress and we went to all sorts of events.”

Dorothy served as a gover­nor at Hill­side Nurs­ery School in Hasling­den for more than 15 years and later be­came chair of gover­nors.

Vicky Gam­ble, a teach­ing as­sis­tant at Hill­side Nurs­ery School, said: “She was chair of gover­nors here for quite a few years.

“She was also a per­sonal friend of my par­ents so I knew her on a per­sonal level. When she was chair of gover­nors she was very ded­i­cated and put 100 per cent into ev­ery­thing she did. She did such a lot for the com­mu­nity. She was re­ally hard work­ing and very well re­spected. She did a lot for the nurs­ery and re­ally did care about the staff and the chil­dren here.”

For­mer head­teacher Lyn Daw­ber said Dorothy sup­ported the school with en­thu­si­asm, car­ing and knowl­edge, and ex­tended “sin­cere con­do­lences”.

She added: “Her con­tri­bu­tions I’m sure still help to sus­tain the school. She was stead­fast in her sup­port to me per­son­ally and in my role of head­teacher, al­ways at the end of the phone in times of need.

“She gave the school many hours of her pre­cious time, which all the staff, par­ents and com­mu­nity greatly ap­pre­ci­ated.

“I have very fond mem­o­ries of her.”

Dorothy was heav­ily in­volved in the Friends of Rossendale Mu­seum, Friends of Bo­cholt, Rossendale Rus­sian As­so­ci­a­tion, the RAFT Foun­da­tion and the Hasling­den Ox­fam shop.

Rossendale coun­cil leader Alyson Barnes said: “I’ve known Dorothy and Ge­off for very many years and they are ab­so­lutely lovely peo­ple.

“They car­ried on car­ing for their com­mu­nity long after they stopped be­ing coun­cil­lors. It’s such sad news about Dorothy and she will be sadly missed by peo­ple in Hasling­den par­tic­u­larly.”

She leaves hus­band Ge­of­frey, daugh­ter Chris­tine, son Phillip and his wife Joan, four grand­chil­dren, four great-grand­chil­dren and son-in-law David. Her daugh­ter Julie, pre­de­ceased her, as did her son-in-law Alan.

Her fu­neral ser­vice will be held on Mon­day, Novem­ber 13, at 2.20pm at Ac­cring­ton Cre­ma­to­rium and 3pm at St James’ Church, Hasling­den.

●● Dorothy and Ge­of­frey Atkin­son pic­tured at their 60th wed­ding cel­e­bra­tions

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