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Tributes paid to Rossendale historian and avid cricket fan
TRIBUTES have been paid to a prominent Valley historian and avid Cricket fan.
Ken Simpson, curator of the Bacup Natural History Society Museum, died on Friday, aged 86.
He was well-known in the town as a fanatical supporter of Bacup Cricket Club, attending matches at Lanehead for decades.
A former insurance and security worker, his love of history saw him take over the reigns at the Yorkshire Street museum in 1994.
The museum’s general secretary Ken Bowden was friends with Mr Simpson for almost a quarter of a century. He said: “He had a massive fund of local knowledge and loved sharing it with people. He appointed me to my current position in 1999. Together we developed a scheme whereby the society could bring all of its work to a much greater audience. We shared some great times and I will miss him terribly.
“He had lost a lot of weight in the last 12 months after a supposedly successful operation on his nose.”
He is survived by son Craig and daughter-in-law Melanie. She said: “It’s been a terrible few days. Craig cannot come to terms with this. He will be missed by so many people.”
Mr Simpson, also a follower of Bacup Borough Football Club, was most recently resident in the Ashlands Nursing Home, in Turnpike, Newchurch.
After the Second World War he served in the Army during the 1948 Palestine war which resulted in Israel’s independence. He was also a qualified football referee, a local bowls league administrator and involved with Stacksteads Band.
Coun Jimmy Eaton, who knew Mr Simpson through local refereeing circles, said he ‘always had a smile on his face’.
Bacup Cricket Club chairman Chris Hayhurst said he clearly loved the club. He said: “I got to know Ken’s face, as you do at cricket grounds, and he was always very friendly. He has been coming for many years and everyone at the club knew him.”
The club paid tribute to Mr Simpson on their Twitter feed, calling him a ‘true Bacup CC supporter’.
His funeral will be at Burnley Crematorium on July 20 at 10.40am.
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