Burnley Youth Theatre mourns death of ‘mother’

Moira Preston (S)

Moira Preston (S)

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A much-loved figure regarded as the mother of Burnley Youth Theatre has died aged 75.

Former teacher Moira Preston became involved with the theatre nearly 40 years ago, when her son, Anthony, took an interest in drama, and she soon became a fixture. A new building at the theatre about to take shape will be named in her honour.

“Without Moira there would not be a Burnley Youth Theatre,” said artistic director Mandy Precious. “We are devasted, and we’re going to miss her terribly.”

Mrs Preston was born and raised in Burnley. After attending Burnley Girls’ High School she went to Leeds University and she returned to her home town to teach. She specialised in maths and taught at Walshaw High School from 1970 until she retired in 1998. Her late husband, Eddie, was a printer with the Burnley Express, and the family lived for many years in Red Lees Road, Burnley.

More recently she had lived at Hillcrest Avenue, Cliviger, and it was there, cared for by her sons Anthony, Duncan and Michael that she died on Sunday. She had cancer and had been forced to curtail some of her voluntary work for the theatre, but had enjoyed chatting over old times with former members who visited her during her illness.

As a volunteer she was happy to do the most mundane of jobs, as well as being the treasurer and obtaining grants, a Board member and trustee. She was heavily involved in the latest building development.

Mrs Preston leaves her three sons and two grandchildren. Her funeral will be on Monday, at the Youth Theatre, at noon, followed by a family service at Burnley Crematorium. Donations in her memory will be given to the theatre.