Tributes to Ribble Valley charity stalwart, health visitor and keen gardener

Tributes have been paid to Waddington resident, a tireless fundraiser and WI member, Elizabeth Foley, who died aged 67.

Tuesday, 14th July 2020, 8:53 am
Updated Tuesday, 14th July 2020, 8:54 am
The late Elizabeth Foley

Born in May 1952, in the village of Meltham near Huddersfield, Liz' family moved to Over Hulton near Bolton in 1962. Educated at Hindley and Abram Grammar School from 1963, on leaving school she started training in her nursing career at Bolton General Hospital (now the Royal Bolton Hospital), and then moved down to Reading after her marriage at the age 19 to her boyfriend, Philip Dean, who was studying at university there.

The couple returned to live at Hawkshaw, near Bolton, with Liz training as a Senior Registered Nurse and then as a midwife before eventually following a career as a health visitor from which occupation many people will remember her.

Liz and Philip moved to the village of Rimington and then undertook a barn conversion at Chaigley, where they celebrated the birth of their daughter Laura in 1984. They then moved to Dunsop Bridge and eventually settled at Waddow Lodge in Waddington in 1997. Philip died from cancer ten years later and Liz then met her future husband, Peter Foley, in 2008 - the long time owner of Holden Clough Nursery. The couple settled at Waddow Lodge where over the next 12 years they developed a notable garden in the grounds that opened regularly for the

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National Gardens Scheme and also hosted group visits from garden clubs and WI's.

Liz had recently joined the WI in Waddington and also became a member of Clitheroe Civic Society. She loved Bowland and supported the AONB along with Peter as they planted a special woodland in 2012 for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee to enhance the entrance to the village of Waddington and the AONB with 60 trees and a wildlife garden alongside the road into the village.

Liz had always been a keen gardener and with Peter she was in her element, being able to follow her passion for plants. She also loved reading, especially historical novels and gardening history books. With Philip and their daughter Laura, fishing trips to Scotland were regularly enjoyed and she carried on with her passion for Scotland as it was one of Peter’s favourite places as well. A keen member of the National Trust and also both her and Peter were heavily involved in the committee of Plant Heritage in the north west, the endangered garden plant conservation charity, as well as being judges in Lancashire’s Best Kept Village Competition.

In recent years beekeeping had been a major part of her life and she was dedicated to keeping her hives in tip top condition. In addition, she was an avid member of East Lancashire Beekeepers Association and encouraged Peter to present a special title amongst his gardening talks aimed at encouraging people to grow suitable plants for bees and other pollinators in their gardens.

Paying tribute, a family spokesman said: "Liz enjoyed cooking and also eating out. When the couple opened their garden twice yearly for the National Gardens Scheme, Liz was the perfect hostess welcoming over 200 visitors to their garden each time and with the help of friends from the village and local churches, raised considerable sums for national charities such as Macmillan Nurses and Marie Curie. She also fully supported Peter in his work as a volunteer and former trustee of the British Thyroid Foundation.

"She was so pleased when her daughter Laura married Kevin Dawson in March 2019 and was looking forward to becoming a grandmother with Peter’s daughter, Mary, expecting a baby in late May, but she sadly died from left ventricular hypertrophy in the early hours of May 14th.

"In the not too distant future, when COVID-19 is no longer restricting congregation sizes and any singing in churches, Peter and the family will host a memorial service at St Helen’s Church in Waddington."