Community stalwart killed in freak accident

A BELOVED Burnley man whose life was spent helping others has tragically died.

Tuesday, 4th October 2011, 9:02 am

Mr Alan Lawson (72), who was chairman of Worsthorne Parish Council, is believed to have fallen out of a tree outside his home in Ravenoak Lane on Thursday morning. He was taken by air ambulance to Royal Blackburn Hospital where he died.

A popular and well-respected figure in the town, Mr Lawson was a teacher at Towneley and St Theodore’s high schools before he took up the position of vice-principal at an academy in Scotland.

His retirement brought him back to Burnley and Worsthorne, where he was often seen setting off on one of his many long walks.

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Coun. Roger Frost was a good friend of Mr Lawson’s and remembers a man who loved the countryside and enjoyed putting his all into helping the community.

“He actually taught me at St Theodore’s and he was an excellent teacher, really before his time,” he said. “He was a really keen walker and had an incredible knowledge of the countryside. He was also very much into amateur dramatics and directed and produced a lot of good plays around Burnley.

“He was very friendly and humorous and was as fit as a fiddle. He did a lot of work in the community and it’s such a shame.”

Mr Lawson married his wife Dorothea only a few years ago and former Mayor of Burnley Coun. Tony Lambert, who was a close friend and neighbour, said he would be sorely missed by everyone who knew him.

“I’ve known him for a long, long time and he was just a very nice man. He was an articulate fella, a sort of gentle giant.

“I was actually in the garden when I saw the air ambulance and I thought to myself ‘that’s really low’. It landed in the fields next to Alan’s house and we couldn’t believe it when we found out what had happened.

“He was very caring person. Nobody could have a bad word to say about Alan.”

Mr Lawson also served as secretary of the Lancashire Association of Local Councils, and was their representative on the Rights of Way Group at County Hall

Mrs Carole Galbraith, who served with him on the parish council for 15 years, had nothing but kind words for a “generous and hard-working” man. “He gave so much to the community and was such a dependable person. He was such a fit man as well and was always out going on walks.

“He led an annual sponsored walk around Hurstwood in aid of the Mayor of Burnley’s charity and he could frequently be seen exploring the moors of Burnley. It’s a real tragedy.”

Tonight’s (Tuesday) Worsthorne-with-Hurstwood Parish Council meeting has been cancelled.