Tributes to former postmistress Anne
●● Anne Nicholls (above), was postmistress in Rising Bridge. Family tributes have been paid by her daughter Debra Gardiner (above right) CHRIS GEE
TRIBUTES have been paid to a ‘caring and hard working’ postmistress and newsagent who served a village community for decades.
Anne Nicholls, 76, ran Rising Bridge Post Office on Blackburn Road from 1974 until 1997.
She died on Sunday, June 3 at Royal Blackburn Hospital after battling dementia and lung disease.
Anne, who was born in Oldham, moved to Rising Bridge with her husband Stephen in 1974, where they ran the local post office, which was also a newsagents, together until their retirement.
Mr Nicholls, who survives his wife, became blind in the early 1990s, but continued to help at the shop, with his wife’s guidance.
Anne leaves son Simon Nicholls and daughter Debra Gardiner, along with grandchildren Olivia, Finlay and Ciaran, daughter-in-law Joanne and son-in-law Roy. She was also sister to Peter.
Debra, 50, paid tribute to her mum, who she described as a devoted family woman.
She said: “Mum was such a hard working and caring person and got to know hundreds of people during her time at the shop.
“She’d be up at 5am to do the papers and if one of the paper lads or girls didn’t turn up she’d go out and deliver them.
“She managed to care for dad so well that he was able to work behind the counter sometimes despite being blind.
“She loved to chat and could keep a secret.
“I think working there was enjoyable for her.
“Above all, mum was devoted to her family and in later life she loved spending time with her grandchildren.”
Anne threw herself into volunteer work with equal vigour and became a Brown Owl leader for Rising Bridge Brownies for several years.
A keen chorister she sang in St John’s Stonefold Church choir every Sunday prior to its closure.
During her retirement Anne was also an active member of the Friends of Rising Bridge, until she became ill.
Anne’s funeral service took place on Wednesday, June 13 at Accrington Crematorium, officiated by Father David Stephenson.
SEE obituary on p16. ●● Amanda Hince (right) with Georgina Barber, area manager at Boots