ELSIE Bolton, the mother of famed orchestra conductor Ivor Bolton, has died aged 98.

Her funeral at Blackburn Cathedral, was conducted  by Canon Andrew Hindley and, alongside the family mourners, the congregation included Dr John Bertalot, the cathedral’s former musical director, who encouraged Ivor as a young chorister to take up a musical career.

Mrs Bolton, who had spent her later years in a Blackburn care home, was born in Wigan and left school at 14.

Although jobs were scarce, she was fortunate to get an apprenticeship as a tailoress at a sewing company.

Working long hours for very little money, conditions were hard, but her income was important to help support the family and she would also make clothes for them.

When she had any free time Mrs Bolton loved to go dancing and it was at a dance hall that she met her future husband, Jack Bolton.

The couple married in July 1943 and moved to Blackrod near Chorley where Jack worked on the railways and it was here that their two children, Gillian and Ivor were born.

As Jack’s career on the railways developed, the family moved to Blackburn in 1961 and Mrs Bolton lived here for the rest of her life.

Ivor was educated at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School and was taught the organ by Dr Bertalot before studying music at Cambridge.  

During his career he has conducted many famous orchestras including the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg and the Madrid Opera Orchestra; more recently he has been appointed chief conductor of the Sinfonieorchester of Basel, Switzerland.

The family said of Mrs Bolton: “Elsie was a very chatty person and loved to tell anecdotes particularly of her family life when she was younger.

“She loved music and particularly enjoyed watching musical films of the thirties and forties.

“Elsie lived through some very difficult times during the early part of her life. She was a strong and determined character.

“She loved her family and wanted her children to have the education she couldn’t have and always encouraged them in this.”

She is survived by children Ivor Bolton and Gill Chapman, two grandchildren and one great granddaughter.