East Lancashire health champion ‘Fiery Fred’ dies, aged 95



First published in Fence Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A CAMPAIGNER who dedicated his working life to improving healthcare for people in East Lancashire has died in a hospital he fought to have built.

Fred Parr MBE, known affectionately as ‘Fiery Fred’, has been credited with shaping the area’s health service as it is known today.

In an illustrious career spanning five decades, he was responsible for running the area’s hospitals and health centres.

He died on Tuesday, aged 95, at Pendle Community Hosp-ital, which he fought to have built when Reedyford Hospital in Nelson was demolished to make way for the M65.

Fred, of Wheatley Lane, Fence, began his career at Reedyford Hospital before the NHS was founded.

He filled the role equivalent to Chief Executive of Burnley and District Hospital Manage-ment Committee between 1948 and 1981, when he retired.

He campaigned for the building of the Accident and Emergency and Outpatients’ departments, as well as the Edith Watson Maternity Unit at Burnley General Hospital.

In addition, his work led to the building of the Lamont Clinic, twin operating theatres, pathology labroratory, education centre, geriatric day hospital and Mackenzie Medical Centre.

And he was instrumental in building seven health centres and clinics in villages.

Fred, who was married to Mary for 56 years, leaves son Graham, daughter-in-law Ruth, four grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

His funeral will take place at Hebron Hall, Brierfield, at 11am on September 8, followed by burial at Wheatley Lane Inghamite Church, at 12.30pm.

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