TRIBUTES have been paid to a magistrate who was born and bred in Darwen.

Gordon Holden was well-known around the town for helping to raise thousands of pounds as part of the Darwen Rotary Club.

The 77-year-old was the dearly loved husband and best friend of Beryl, brother to Derek also a dear dad, stepdad, grandad, great grandad, uncle and friend to many.

The ex-JP died peacefully on April 25 at the Royal Blackburn Hospital.

His wife Beryl has been inundated with more than 100 letters and cards with messages paying tribute to Gordon.

She said: “He helped a lot of people and was a loving, understanding, honest and a great man.

“It is heartbreaking to see so many messages and it is so Gordon that so many people respected him for his honesty.”

Gordon was born in Darwen and loved the town, going to St George’s School then onto Duckworth Street School and then Darwen Technical School.

He became a joiner at the Co-operative then worked at Darwen Council before working at Blackburn with Darwen Council as building surveyor.

He joined Darwen Rotary Club in 1983 and he was recognised for his efforts last year when he was presented with the Paul Harris Fellowship.

Beryl said: “I am so proud of him and what he achieved in all his time in the Rotary and all he served the town well.

“He was so knowledgeable about Darwen and he knew where all the services were and mineshafts. And if anyone wanted to know anything about Darwen they would all come to Gordon. It is just so sad to see that all that is gone.

“He was so well-loved and that could be seen by the amount of people who stood outside the house as we left our home and then at the crematorium.

“We did not have any flowers we just had a tram in Darwen colours of red and cream as he loved trams and buses.”

Donations in memory of Gordon be made to The East Lancs Hospice c/o Darwen Funeral Service, 59-61, Blackburn Road, Darwen. All Enquiries Tel: 01254 873618