One of Burnley’s best known stonemasons, responsible for designing and crafting hundreds of headstones in the borough, has died suddenly aged 47.
Hundreds of tributes have flooded in for Wayne Hunt from all over the world after he died in the Royal Blackburn Hospital following a short illness.
Trained at handcutting in stone as a teenage apprentice, Wayne learned his craft from the late Arthur Stevenson, former owner of Stevenson’s Memorials, Burnley. He worked for the company from leaving the former Ivy Bank High School, Burnley, until he set up his own business in 1995. Originally based from the garage of his home in Printers Fold, he eventually moved to a unit in Accrington Road, Burnley. His talent will live on as his legacy across Lancashire and beyond at landmarks, public buildings and homes. Recently he was asked to complete work at the newly built Burnley College and inscribed the Welcome to Padiham sign.
Born and bred in Rosegrove, Wayne, who lived in Greenbrook Road, was famed for his dry sense of humour and cheeky one liners from being a child. The son of Fred and Pauline Hunt, he followed a family tradition aged eight and joined the First Burnley Boys’ Brigade Company with his brothers, Darren and Lee. Wayne rose through the ranks to become Drum Major with the company band, leading it to success in several competitions, and Wayne won the Queen’s Badge, the highest attainable award.
Paying tribute to her husband of 20 years, Wayne’s wife Nicola, a practise nurse at Burnley’s Thursby Surgery, said: “Wayne loved the limelight and was the life and soul of any party. He had a fantastic sense of humour and could make you dissolve into laughter with one comment.”
A Clarets fan, his other interests included music, karaoke and DIY, as well as garden design, painting and wood sculpture. He also loved spending time with his family, especially his children, Harrison (18), a graphic arts student at Burnley College and 13-year-old India, a pupil at St Christopher’s High School, Accrington.
Greenbrook Methodist Church was packed to capacity for a funeral service on Wednesday before cremation in Burnley.
Nicola thanked everyone for their sympathy, saying: “We have been overwhelmed by the support and hundreds of messages which is a testimony to what Wayne meant to people and I would like them to remember him as the lovely man he truly was.”