Tributes to a champion of his town

6 Dec 2021 02:08
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TRIBUTES have been paid to Honorary Alderman and former Westhoughton and Bolton mayor Peter Finch.

Peter, who passed away aged 84 after a short illness, received a full civic funeral in recognition of his contributions to the borough.

He served as mayor of Bolton in 1998/99 and as mayor of Westhoughton in 1986/87.

The current borough mayor Linda Thomas led the tributes, describing Mr Finch as a "strong and caring man".

She said: "I am so sad to hear of the death of our friend and colleague Peter Finch.

"This is the end of an era, with the passing of this strong and caring man who devoted much of his life to the town of Westhoughton and its residents, always fighting their corner.

"Peter was always fundraising for charity and to help our senior citizens enjoy some quality time.

"I will always owe Peter much personal gratitude for thew ay he helped and supported me as a new councillor. My deepest sympathy to Peter's family. We will miss our friend."

In its tribute, Westhoughton Labour party, said: "Peter will be very sadly missed by many, his enthusiasm for his home town was quite unique he was certainly a great advocate for Westhoughton."

He was born in Westhoughton on October 3, 1937. Growing up he attended Fourgates County Primary School, and at the age of six was orphaned and brought up by his sister Mary and then later by sister Pat and her husband Tom.

After attending Westhoughton Secondary Modern School, Peter started his career in textiles where he worked for 38 years. He became a Textile Technician with English Card Clothing Company and then at Crosses and Heaton Ltd.

Peter was also a Lance Corporal in the Royal Army Medical Corps and served in the Middle East and North Africa during the Suez Crisis in 1956-58.

He joined the Labour Party in the mid-190s and was one of its longest serving members in Bolton West.

In 2000 Peter was made an Honorary Alderman and his partner Rita Fairhurst, who died last year, was his mayoress.

The flag on Bolton Town Hall was flown at half-mast until dusk on the day of his civic funeral. The funeral cortege paused outside the building as well as Westhoughton Town Hall on its way to Bolton Parish Church.

Donations in his memory can be made directly to Macmillan Cancer Support or sent via Cowburn Funeral Service, 1 King Street, Westhoughton, BL5 3AX.

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