Tributes to former Pendle Mayor and Nelson Town Crier

Tony Bennett in his days as Nelson Town Crier
Tony Bennett in his days as Nelson Town Crier

Tributes have been made to a former Pendle Mayor and councillor who has died over the weekend.

Tony Beckett was a familiar face throughout the borough having served as a Conservative councillor for many years as well as a gifted Nelson town crier and charity fund-raiser.

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson paid tribute to his old friend who he said taught him "the ropes of civic life" in Pendle.

Tony served first as a councillor in Marsden ward, Nelson, before returning in 2000 to represent Barrowford which he represented until his retirement through ill health in 2015.

He served as Mayor of Pendle in 2010-11 with wife Margaret as his Mayoress, and with whom he also owned Eastwood Furniture Store in Nelson.

Mr Stephenson said: "I am saddened by the death of former councillor Tony Beckett over the weekend.

"Tony was a popular figure across Pendle for both his work as a councillor and for his work outside his political life. I have many happy memories from his mayoral year. As a new MP at the time he made sure to show me the ropes of civic life in Pendle.

"Tony also raised thousands of pounds for charity, he was a committed Rotarian for many years and would always do whatever he could to help anyone in need of assistance.

"He was also a talented public speaker and he was never short of an amusing tale that he could regale his audiences with.

"Tony and Margaret dedicated much of their lives to volunteering for Pendle Conservatives. When I was first selected as the Parliamentary candidate in 2006 Tony and Margaret were an amazing support to me and a real font of knowledge.

"Tony really was one of a kind, a dedicated public servant, a generous and caring family man. I will miss him and I know many others will miss him also. My love, thoughts and prayers are with Margaret and the entire family at this difficult time."