A WOMAN who became one of the area’s leading industrialists after her husband’s sudden death has died at the age of 88.
Kathleen Hamilton was 54 when she became chairman of Hamilton Publications Ltd, a long-established family firm.
Previously she had not been involved with the print and plate making firm in Trafalgar Street, Burnley, so she went to night school to learn business skills and also learned from her husband Clifford’s managerial team. She became a member of the Institute of Industrial Managers and in later years was asked to use her expertise as a lay member at industrial tribunals.
The firm specialised in producing government stationery and also printed Bingo cards. It was hit by the recession of the 1990s and closed in June, 1991.
Her daughter, Mrs Margaret Ingham, said: “It was an upsetting time. Mum always felt a great deal of responsibility for people at the firm.”
Before taking over the firm Mrs Hamilton was associated with voluntary groups in the town, notably the Citizens’ Advice Bureau.
She and her husband lived at Towneleyside, but after being widowed she moved to Red Lees Road in Cliviger, where she lived until four years ago when she went to live with her daughter in Farnham, Surrey.
Mrs Hamilton was a former president of Burnley Soroptimists and was a member until she left the area. During her term of office she started raising money to bring Macmillan Nurses to cancer sufferers in Burnley, and was an early supporter of Pendleside Hospice. Her family has asked for donations to Macmillan Cancer Support.
As an active Soroptimist she travelled the world to attend conferences on international projects supported by the women’s charity. She also had a keen love of the arts, particularly through the Halle orchestral concerts and her painting classes in Padiham.
An illness resulted in Mrs Hamilton not being able to go on outings with the local Ramblers’ Association, but she was made an honorary member for her continued support.
A thanksgiving service in celebration of Mrs Hamilton’s life will be held at the United Reformed Church in Farnham on Tuesday.
In addition to her daughter, Mrs Hamilton leaves her sons Peter and James, grandchildren and great grandchildren.