Librarian Wilfred is in Colne’s Hall of Fame

Here’s my tribute to a renowned Colner of great substance and stature, the late Wilfred Micah Spencer.

RENOWNED: Wilfred Micah Spencer on army duty in India in 1941. (S)
RENOWNED: Wilfred Micah Spencer on army duty in India in 1941. (S)

Wilfred was born in Colne at his family home, 46 Castle Road, on June 1st, 1918 (by an amazing coincidence, I was born exactly 25 years later in Colne on June 1st, 1943).

From an early age he took a very keen interest in Colne’s long and notable history.

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During the Second World War, Wilfred served in the British army and in this week’s picture we can see a smiling Wilfred on Army duty in India in 1941, catching up on his home-town news, as he reads the latest issue of “The Colne Times”.

After the war, on August 24th, 1948, Wilfred was, at just 30, installed as the Colne Borough Librarian at a salary of £420 per annum.

His love of the town’s local history saw him build and indeed nurture “The Colne Collection”, which his eminent predecessor (Miss) Evelyn M. Jowett had commenced on her appointment in 1945. Wilfred, during his decade as our librarian, became a much-loved figure, whose help was invaluable to anybody wishing to know the history of Colne.

Wilfred sadly died aged 56 in January 1975, leaving his dear wife Helen and five children at their family home in Keighley Road.

Wilfred Spencer was a hero to me at the age of 10 and he is still a hero to me at the age of 70.

His name is forever inscribed on the Colne Hall of Fame.