Death of well known Nelson bakery boss

Bill Oddie, who has died at the age of 76, with his daughter Lara who works as marketing director for the family business.
Bill Oddie, who has died at the age of 76, with his daughter Lara who works as marketing director for the family business.
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The man  at the helm of one of East Lancashire's best known bakerys has died at the age of 76.

Bill Oddie had worked for his family firm, Oddie's Bakery, for half a century, 30 years of those as managing director.

Founded by Bill's grandfather, John Dean Oddie, who opened his first shop in Colne in 1905, Bill took charge in 1988 following his father's death.

Bill prided himself on being very much involved in the day to day running of the business, which has several shops in Burnley, Padiham, Nelson, Barnoldswick and Blackburn.

Famed for its traditional and old fashioned recipes, many of them top secret, Bill, steered the firm through the recession and he admitted it took five years to recover.

But he credited his staff and customers, who stayed loyal to Oddie's, for helping the business, to get through the hard times.

And Bill always said that one of the proudest moments of his career was when Prince Charles visited the company to celebrate its 100th anniversary.

Bill was passionate about cricket and was a member of Lancashire County Cricket Club for many years.

An attacking batsman he also played for Nelson in the Lancashire League, batting against the famous Australian fast bowler Dennis Lilee who was playing for Haslingden.

Bill managed to get 48 before he was run out. And the time he knocked a towering six over the pavilion at Nelson which went right up Pendle Street is legendary.

Bill was also a former player, chairman and president with Belvedere and Calder Vale Sports Club.