Popular Clitheroe shopkeeper dies

RANDOLPH WINTLE. (S)
RANDOLPH WINTLE. (S)

Born and bred in Clitheroe, Randolph was the youngest son of Mr and Mrs Percy and Lilian Wintle, of Castle View, who also had five other children - Raymond, Jim, Merlin, Florence and Sylvia.

Educated at the town’s St James’ CE Primary School and Ribblesdale Secondary School, Randolph learnt the ropes in the family business - a fish, fruit and poultry shop in Parson Lane, Clitheroe - aged five. Small in stature, Randolph was often seated on an orange box by his father in the back of the shop where he would pluck pigeons.

Over the years, his father’s health, which had been deteriorating due to injuries sustained in the First World War, meant he passed away in July 1940 despite years of costly treatment. This financial pressure, plus the fact Randolph’s older brothers were fighting in the Second World War, led to the demise of the family’s Parson Lane shop. This left Percy’s widow Lilian, her daughters and young Randolph concentrating their efforts on the family’s other business, a fruit and veg shop in Woone Lane. Randolph also worked at Joe Dewhurst’s Grocers in Whalley Road, Clitheroe.

However, in 1948 Randolph was conscripted to serve his two years’ national service in the Royal Air Force. Based at RAF Kenley, Surrey, Randolph worked as a bar man in the officers’ mess - memories of which he often recalled. Respected for his rifle skills, Randolph could have represented the Royal Air Force’s national rifle team at Bisley but declined the chance to become a rear gunner.

Demobbed in 1951, Randolph worked for Blackburn’s Fruit and Veg Wholesalers in Clitheroe. Randolph often recalled how the wholesalers had given him the chance to take his driving test but, unfortunately, the instructor hadn’t been keen on his use of an orange box to bolster his height at the wheel, and failed him.

Around this time Randolph met his wife Margaret Peters, of Billington, at a dance at the Assembly Rooms, Whalley, and they married in 1953 at St Leonard’s Church, Langho.

Setting up home in Billington, Randolph worked at a bakers in Accrington Road, Whalley, before the couple, who adopted daughters Susan and Diane in the Sixties, moved to Chatburn Road, Clitheroe, and Randolph returned to work at Joe Dewhurst’s, a job he adored. However, a thrombosis in his leg dictated that he took a less physically demanding desk job at the Ministry of Pensions, Clitheroe.

Always a people person who would strike up a conversation, Randolph soon found his way back to working behind a counter, this time taking over the family’s shop in Woone Lane from his mother.

A job at Mullard’s televisions, Simonstone, followed with Randolph ending his working life as a pharmacist’s assistant at Brockhall Hospital.

A proud grandfather, his four grandchildren were the apple of Randolph’s eyes. During his retirement, Randolph also enjoyed coach trips to Europe with Margaret, who had made their home in Clitheroe, as well as holidays in the UK with his children and grandchildren.