Fond memories and tributes to Colne Times stalwart Andrew Spencer

Warm tributes have been paid to former Colne Times and Nelson Leader journalist Andrew Spencer who has died at home aged 64.

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 4:32 pm
Andrew Spencer
Andrew Spencer

Andrew, who retired in 2015, devoted his career to the Colne Times, having started on the paper in 1974 as a young man after leaving Colne Grammar School.

Born in Trawden, Andrew attended the village primary school before the grammar school sixth form from where he landed his first job in the Colne Times office, which was then situated opposite the Red Lion pub in Colne town centre.

A lifelong member of Colne Cricket Club, Andrew was also a keen supporter of Castleford Tigers rugby league team. He also enjoyed socialising in local pubs the Red Lion and the Wallace Hartley. Ever the sports fan, in 1988 he went to Wembley to see Colne Dynamoes FC’s victory.

His brother David said: "Andrew will be fondly remembered by people across Colne. He was a real homebody and never wanted to leave. He didn't want to go to university but was recruited for the Colne Times when he was at the grammar school as he was very good at writing.

"Andrew suffered from ill health for many years, and in particular diabetes. He had a spell in hospital 12 months ago. We found him at home on Monday and we are awaiting the results of a post-mortem examination but suspect it was related to his diabetes.

"Andrew always enjoyed visiting us at Christmas when he enjoyed playing board games. He was very good at word puzzles too."

Former colleagues of Andrew have been lining up to pay their respects, including his former editor at the Nelson Leader, Roy Prenton, and the current editor of East Lancashire Newspapers, Chris Daggett.

Roy said: "I worked with Andrew for more than three decades and admired his dedication to his work for the Nelson Leader/Colne Times series as a general news reporter, sports reporter and feature writer.

“He loved being the newspaper’s eyes and ears in Colne and could call on many personal contacts during his reporting years.

“He was affectionately known as ‘Scoop’ because of the number of exclusive stories he brought in about life in the Pendle area and entertained our readers with his views during the days when he penned the popular Mr Pendle’s Diary.

“So many happy memories and laughs back in the good old days and I’m so sorry to hear the news of his passing.”

East Lancashire Newspapers' editor Chris Daggett said: "Andrew devoted many years of his life to keeping Pendle residents informed of the issues that impacted upon their lives and communities

"His network of contacts ensured that his notebook was always filled with human interest stories and his ability to turn facts into column inches was testament to his professionalism and dedication.

"Many Pendle residents will remember him with great fondness."

His funeral will be held at 11am on Friday, July 23rd, at Denis Hartley Funeral Service, Back Brown Street, Colne, followed by interment at Colne Cemetery. A wake will be held at the Crown pub in Colne.