A WELL-RESPECTED historian has died aged 85.

Jim Ashton, who lived in Huncoat, was passionate about the area and wrote articles on the village’s history.

He passed away at the Royal Blackburn Hospital on Tuesday after suffering from pneumonia and heart failure.

Jim had a particular interest in animals and wrote about the farming community, looking back at farmers’ names and also investigating stories about the brick works. He wrote and published Huncoat Revisited and was involved with the Huncoat Neighbourhood Project.

His brother Raymond, who lives in Milnshaw Gardens, Accrington, said: “He just loved local history, he took it up after he got married.

“He also loved his animals and that was his life.”

Jim married his wife Muriel, who passed away three years ago, in 2009. They had no children.

They had lived in Lynwood Avenue, in Accrington, since the 1960s. Jim was adopted by the Ashton family when he was a teenager after his mother and father both died young.

His sister-in-law Delys said: “Jim had lots of nieces and nephews and will be sadly missed by all of them.

“He had so many friends and enjoyed playing dominoes in the Black Bull in Accrington.

“Jim had always been interested in Huncoat and had a great love and affection for it.

“He spent 71 years living in his favourite village.”

Jim’s funeral will take place at Accrington Crematorium on Tuesday, December 4, at 1pm.

Flowers are welcome and anybody wishing to make a donation in Jim’s memory can do so for the North West Air Ambulance or Guide Dogs for the Blind.