Burnley through-and-through: family pay tribute to "genuine bloke"

William Pilkington.
William Pilkington.
Share this article

Praising a down-to-earth and genuine husband and father, the friends and family of the late William Pilkington have paid tribute to a well-loved "all-rounder" of a man.

Born on Gannow Lane in Burnley, William died on February 27th at the age of 79 in Accrington, having moved there after retiring from his job as an engineer with Lucas Aerospace in Burnley, where he worked on aircraft parts for 22 years and inspections for 17 years and "loved every minute of it," according to his son, Gerard.

Prior to working for Lucas, William - whose family moved to Hapton when he was six where he attended St Leonard's school - worked for Burco as a sheet metal worker, and was a lifelong fan of travel, of walking, and of gardening.

"He was very fit for a 79-year-old, always out walking," said Gerard. "He'd walk up to my house and take my dog Jack for a walk, and I'd get a text saying 'I've sorted the dog,' about three or four times a week! He absolutely loved it."

Survived by his wife, Anne (74); his two children, Gerard Pilkington and Marie Scholes; and his three grandsons, Christopher, Matthew, and Thomas, William was also fond of meeting up with friends for Saturday drinks at the Canine WMC Club in Accrington and of holidays both in the UK and abroad, travelling far and wide with Anne after they had retired.

"In the last five years, they'd go on holidays more in the UK, but when they retired they were all over the show, him and my mum," Gerard said. "They liked Dubrovnik and Tenerife.

"As a person, he was an all-rounder: he was well liked, a really popular lad and he was Burnley through and through," Gerard added. "He was a genuine bloke who concentrated on us, and he loved Burnley: he used to call it 'God's Town'."

William's funeral will take place on Thursday, March 22nd at 2pm at St Margaret's Church in Hapton, while the cremation will take place at 3pm at Accrington Crematorium. The family have asked that any donations in William's name be made to the North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust.