FRIENDS of Darwen Library have paid tribute to a writer who was heavily involved in a book focusing on renowned artist James Hargreaves Morton.

Roger Davison, who lived in Chiswick and was a distant relative of Morton’s, was taken ill just before Christmas and died aged 59.

Mr Davison’s mother came from Darwen and he was born in Ulverston, moving south as his father changed jobs.

A former student of High Wycombe Royal Grammar School, he gained an Open Scholarship in Chemistry at Pem- broke College, Oxford. Later he was an accountant with Ernst & Young.

Before his death he said of the Morton book: “This has been one of the most challenging investigations I have ever done. I would never have believed that I would become so absorbed and found myself working with such an able, resourceful and friendly team.”

He had visited Darwen, where Morton grew up, several times over the past few months as part of research for the book, to be released in April.