Read path named in honour of church stalwart

The sign erected in memory of Mr Cyril Law, with his widow Joyce and son John, and local resident Mr Joe Tomkinson, who first suggested the sign.
The sign erected in memory of Mr Cyril Law, with his widow Joyce and son John, and local resident Mr Joe Tomkinson, who first suggested the sign.

A STALWART of St John’s Church, Read, has had his long service and dedication recognised by the installation of a new sign.

Following the death in May 2011 of Mr Cyril Law, Read Parish Council was approached by local resident Mr Joe Tomkinson with a suggestion the church path might be renamed to honour his memory.

The new sign in memory of Cyril Law

The new sign in memory of Cyril Law

Mr Law was a tireless community worker who gave 48 years’ service as Churchwarden at St John’s. He was also a Parish Council member for 40 years, serving as chairman for many of those, and a magistrate for 20 years. He represented Read as a borough councillor on both Ribble Valley council and the old Burnley Rural Distric Council.

His working life, after leaving the Royal Navy at the end of the war, was spent at Lucas industries where he became head of apprentice training and is remembered by all the “lads” trained in the apprentice school.

The footpath leading to St John’s Church was, in ancient times, part of the main route from Whalley to Padiham and is shown on old maps as Straits. Keen on Mr Tomkinson’s suggestion, Read Parish Council consulted Ribble Valley Borough Council about the proposed name change. Initially there was disappointment when it transpired it is no longer permissable to use personal names as street names.

However, that didn’t mean it couldn’t be named in his memory and it was agreed to call the path – which Mr Law had walked on his way to the church for more than 60 years – “Churchwardens Way”.

Mr Cyril Law, pictured at the time of his stepping down as churchwarden at St John's Church in Read. B140606/1

Mr Cyril Law, pictured at the time of his stepping down as churchwarden at St John's Church in Read. B140606/1

Now installed, the new sign points the way to St John’s Church, with the name “Churchwardens Way” above and a line below which reads: “Dedicated to the memory of Cyril Law”.

It was cast by Mr Keith Prosser, who was brought up in Read, from a design by Mr Duncan Armstrong, of Padiham. Mr Armstrong has renovated many local old signs, retaining their period look, and all agree it is a welcome and in-keeping addition to the area.