ONE of the of Blackburn Borough police force’s most senior officers has died aged 87.

Norman Howarth served from August 1950 to January 1975 rising quickly through the ranks from Constable to the senior Superintendent.

He spent many years in CID and as a Detective Chief Inspector joining the new amalgamated Lancashire Police in 1968, ending his career posted back to his home town.

The middle child of three, he won a scholarship to Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Blackburn, worked at a small radio manufacturing company before doing National Service in the Royal Air Force and joining the police on his return.

In 1972 he was awarded the Police Long Service and Good Conduct medal.

He was responsible for Queen Elizabeth’s safety on one of her visits to the town and even purchased a Bury Black Pudding for Prince Philip from a market stall.

Supt Howarth was a keen sportsman playing cricket, tennis and football for the police as well as lifelong supporter of Blackburn Rovers. He was also involved in singing and musical theatre.

On returning to the UK, he and his second wife Margery settled in Norwich where he will be cremated today.

Supt Howarth, who died from cancer on May 5, will have a full memorial service at the church of Sty Peter Mancroft in the centre of his adopted city next Wednesday.

He leaves his wife Margery, 85, a daughter Margaret Duckworth, two grandchildren, Matthew and Joanna, and two great grandchildren.

He also leaves a sister Margaret Livesey, 89, who lives in Buckshaw Village, Chorley.

Mrs Duckworth, a retired teacher, said: “Norman was always very organised but also very warm and loving.

“The police and helping others was his his life.

“He was very amusing and had many funny stories about serving in the police and being on the beat.

“My father will be much missed by the family and many others,”

Supt Howarth never lost his taste for authentic Chinese cuisine acquired when he lived in Hong Kong.

While in Hong Kong, the keen cook, achieved some success sailing in regattas in the South China Sea and in retirement took up golf.

Aged 12, Supt Howarth volunteered as a cyclist/messenger for the Civil Defence Coprs during the Second World War.