The Adlington community has paid tribute to Alan Birtwistle a “ true gentleman” who died aged 88.
Known as ‘Mr Adlington’, Alan was the face of Adlington Carnival, compering the annual event which has brought the likes of comedian Tommy Cooper, boxer Frank Bruno, television presenter Cilla Black and TV character Mr Blobby to town.
A confectioner for his working life, it was Alan who played a central role introducing the Daim chocolate bar into the UK.
He was also president and long-serving member of am-dram group St Paul’s Players, always playing the pantomime dame or an ugly sister.
His wife of 24 years Lois, who he met on a blind date, said he was a “fantastic community man”.
“I just want to celebrate his life, he’s given so much back to the community,” she said.
More than 400 friends and family attended Alan’s funeral at St Paul’s Church in Railway Road.
His stepson Dax Owensaid: “Nothing was too much trouble and he would do anything for anyone. He never looked for praises, he was never one to boast, he just went on quietly working.”
Alan was born in Health Charnock and went to St Paul’s Church of England Primary School in Adlington.
His first job was working for his uncle in Coppull making crumpets. He later went on to become a confectioner working as a sales director.
His colleague Steve Bolton also spoke at his funeral. He said: “Thank you Alan for everything, being my boss, working with me in the charity being my best pal and my second dad – I love you.”
Graham Cohen chairman of St Paul’s Players, said: “Alan was a member of St Paul’s Players for 73 years. In that time his contribution, commitment and pride in the society was there for all to see.”
Alan died on April 3 after suffering from pneumonia. He is survived by Lois, his daughter Karen Hodgson and stepsons Dax and Scott Owen as well as six grandchildren Matthew, 28, Nicholas, 25, Shaun, 21, Jessica, 18 Daisy, 18 and Isabella, 4.