CHARITY fund raiser and former mayoral consort, George Grunshaw of Wilpshire, Blackburn, has died at the age of 76.

The father of two, who was married to Merle and had two grand daughters, was also a keen watercolour artist and, in his younger days, a semi professional footballer with Darwen FC, Mellor FC and Bolton.

Throughout his life, Mr Grunshaw was an active member of St James' Church, Blackburn and raised more than £215,000 for charities as a member of its day tripper team.

He was also on the Parochial Church Council and a governor of St James' School.

He acted as consort to the Mayor of Hyndburn Paul Barton, during his year of office in 2009/10.

Mr Grunshaw started his working life as an apprentice painter and decorator with Blackburn Co-op, where he worked for 26 years, before moving to become a draughtsman to Lancashire Barfitters, working his way up to lead designer of the bar section.

He later formed his own interior design company, whose work included designing and developing the lounge and meeting rooms of St James’ Church.

A new career in college lecturing then beckoned and he shared his knowledge of interior design with students at Blackburn College and then later at Accrington & Rossendale College where he set up the interior design course up to degree standard and became an assessor for HNC/HND qualifications.

He represented the college to receive the Queen’s Award For Industry, at Buckingham Palace.

Until recently Mr Grunshaw was the watercolour artist in residence on Fred Olsen and P&O Cruises - and worked with the head patissier in designing the images for P&O’s 175th anniversary cake.

He also ran watercolour classes for beginners and undertook demonstrations for local art clubs.

His funeral service will take place on Wednesday, November 22, at noon, at St James’ Church, St James’ Road, followed by committal at Pleasington Crematorium.

Donations for the British Heart Foundation, St James’ Church or the East Lancashire Hospice can be sent to Barton & Hallworth Funeral Service, The Old Foxhill, 136-8 Union Road, Oswaldtwistle. BB5 3DR.