A Ribble Valley council officer who has been the first port of call for visitors to the area for more than 20 years is folding up her maps.

History and jewellery enthusiast Dorothy Dowling said she landed her dream job when she was appointed information officer at the Platform Gallery and Tourist Information Centre in Station Road, Clitheroe, in 2002.

Dorothy grew up in London and Sussex and relocated to Simonstone after marrying husband Allan.

She was well-known in the borough as the ‘cheery’ librarian on the Ribble Valley Mobile Library, before having a couple of stints at Ribble Valley Borough Council, firstly from 1999 as a customer assistant, followed by deputy custodian, at the Clitheroe Castle Museum, then since 2002 at the Clitheroe Tourist Information Centre.

Dorothy’s unflappable spirit was put to the test during not one but two relocations of the centre within three years, from Marketplace, then to the Council Offices, then its current location at the Platform Gallery.

Speaking about her retirement, Dorothy said: “I have always liked history, working with the public and distinctive jewellery, so you could say that working at the Platform Gallery and Tourist Information Centre has been my dream job.

“I have loved working at Ribble Valley Borough Council. It is such a lovely place to work and everyone I have worked with over the years has been really nice. I will miss them.”

Ribble Valley Borough Council’s director of community services, Adam Allen, said: “Dorothy’s encyclopaedic knowledge of the area and gracious personality is very popular among visitors to the gallery and colleagues.

“Dorothy has been the first port of call for thousands of visitors to Ribble Valley over the years.

“We can’t thank her enough for her dedicated and loyal service and wish her the very best in her retirement.”

An animal enthusiast, with three dogs, cats and geese, Dorothy loves wandering along the River Ribble and watching wildlife, such as birds and deer.

She has three dogs and will be spending her retirement learning and competing in dog agility with her border collie Sam, reading, walking, following equestrian sport, listening to music, and going to the theatre.

If you have a story or something you would like to highlight in the community, please email me at chloe.wilson@newsquest.co.uk or DM me on X @chloewjourno.