Frank brightened up the darkest day

Frank Patterson.
Frank Patterson.
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A heartbroken family is still waiting to hear how a much-loved 63-year-old father of two from Chorley died during a break in Spain.

Frank Patterson was found at the bottom of a steep 20ft drop next to his farmhouse just outside Valencia last month.

The former entertainer touched the hearts of many and was described this week as “just a big bundle of love and fun” by his devastated sister.

Ann Briscoe, of Town Lane, Whittle-le-Woods, Chorley, said: “We’re still waiting to hear from the authorities in Spain – we don’t know yet.”

Retired Frank, who lived in Whittle-le-Woods, had spent a couple of months relaxing at the farmhouse when tragedy struck on the weekend of November 12 and 13.

His car was found parked at the gates of the farmhouse with the engine still running.

There were bags of shopping inside the vehicle.

Frank was discovered at the bottom of the drop and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police have said there were no suspicious circumstances. His death may have been a tragic accident.

“He was just a bundle of love and fun, he was just the best of everything,” said Ann.

“He travelled the world, he was a musician, he had a marvellous talent.

“He spent hours on his guitar, he was amazing, he could make it talk.

“He brightened up the darkest day. Even when he was down, he just made you laugh.

“He was just my brother and I loved him. He’ll be missed by a lot of people. he was a real character.

“There’s a lot of people in Chorley who won’t know what’s happened. he was very well known.”

Ann said her brother knew a number of professional musicians, including Dave Swift, bass player to Jools Holland.

She said he was “really upset” when he heard of her Frank’s death.

Born in Barrow in Furness, Frank was brought up in Chorley from the age of one.

“From the word go, he used to go round to the corner shop singing ‘Where did you get that hat?’ and they gave him parched peas,” said Ann.

He attended Sacred Heart primary and St Augustine secondary schools in Chorley.

He joined the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and served in Germany.

After leaving REME he began a singing career, which took him to cabaret venue The Night Out in Birmingham in the 1970s.

He also worked on Cunard cruise ships where he met a lot of professional musicians.

He returned to Chorley and became a property buyer, which included acquiring shops and Primrose Mill, Friday Street, Chorley.

Frank never ever forgot one terrible incident in his life.

He was one of the first people on the scene when the IRA blew up a coach of off-duty soldiers travelling with family members on the M62 in West Yorkshire in 1974.

Twelve people, including two young children died.

Frank, then 21, was travelling back to Chorley from a nightclub gig in Leeds and many years later said he was still haunted by the memories of that night.

One of his loves was motorcycling.

He was an original member of the Wheelton Wobblers motorcycling club and loved getting out on his bike which he called “Alice”.

A funeral service was held at St Chad’s Catholic Church, Town Lane, Chorley.

Frank leaves two sons Tom and Charlie.