Death of former Burnley mayoress (91) who beat coronavirus and cancer

A former Mayoress of Burnley, who beat covid at the start of the pandemic, has died at the age of 91.

Former Mayoress of Burnley Mrs Ivy Brown (far left) with her husband and Mayor Coun. Fred Brown (right) during their civic year.
Former Mayoress of Burnley Mrs Ivy Brown (far left) with her husband and Mayor Coun. Fred Brown (right) during their civic year.

Mrs Ivy Brown was admitted to hospital, after testing positive for coronavirus, in April last year. But she went on to make a full recovery from the illness.

Mrs Brown was mayoress in 1986 with her husband, Frederick, who was a long serving Conservative councillor in the Lanehead ward.

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Although apprehensive about taking on the role at first, Mrs Brown proved to be dedicated and elegant mayoress.

The couple raised money to buy a special kidney machine for Burnley General Hospital and one of the fund raising events Mrs Brown ran with her committee was a stall selling crepe paper flowers she made by hand.

Mrs Brown's daughter, Mrs Carole Dixon, said her mum had a real gift for creating the blooms that looked real.

Burnley born and bred Mrs Brown went to work for the former Lucas Engineering after leaving school where she met Fred. The couple married on Christmas Eve in 1949 and, after the birth of their daughter two years later, Mrs Brown became a housewife.

She returned to work when Carole started school, working at family run Fitzpatrick's toy and pram shop in St James Street, Burnley.

Carole said: "My mum loved that job as she really enjoyed dealing with people."

In 1959 Mrs Brown won £1,000 on a premium bond, quite a considerable sum at that time, and the couple used £800 of it to buy a corner shop in Burnley's Elm Street. Living in the house behind the shop, Mrs Brown ran the business while Mr Brown worked at Bank Hall pit.

They sold the shop in the 70's and Mr. Brown decided it was time to move to the ward he represented so they bought a cottage, in need of renovation, in Lanehead. Mrs Brown then went to work for another family run firm Pendelfin.

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Founded in the 1950s the company specialised in the production of handcrafted and painted stoneware rabbits and ornaments that have become collectors's items around the world. Mrs Brown rose to the position of supervisor in the trimming department while working for Pendelfin.

In preparation for their retirement the couple moved to a bungalow on Oslo Road. Mrs. Brown retired at 67 and together they enjoyed their family and holidays in the UK and abroad. Five years after retiring, at the age of 72, Mrs Brown overcame cancer.

Mr Brown died six years ago at the age of 89.

More recently Mrs Brown, who also leaves her grandson Ivan and great grandson Liam, had settled into The Grove care home in Burnley and, although visits were restricted due to covid, Carole was able to speak to her mum every night.

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She said: "My mum was bright as a button right until the end and she could use a mobile phone so we were able to speak to each other every day.

"She always said she considered herself to be lucky and that everything had fallen into place for her in life."

Mrs Brown's funeral will take place at Burnley Crematorium tomorrow (Thursday, April 8th).