Foxfields hotel founder Christine dies

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retired hotel partner Mrs Christine Parkinson, who founded and built up the Foxfields at Billington with her husband Terry, has died aged 65 after a battle against cancer.

Mr Parkinson had been the first general manager of the Saxon Inn, Blackburn, and the couple went into business for themselves in 1979 when they bought the Wicked Fox in Whalley Road and reopened it as Foxfields Restaurant the following year. The venture was a success and celebrity chef Nigel Haworth once said the Parkinsons had “brought fine dining to East Lancashire.”

Mrs Parkinson was popular with customers, welcoming them as front-of-house manager.

The couple left Foxfields in 1988 to take over the Borrowdale Gates Hotel at Grange, near Keswick, and many of their former Lancashire customers became clients there.

They retired in 2003 and returned to the Ribble Valley to live near Bolton-by-Bowland. Mrs Parkinson died at Beardwood Hospital, Blackburn, where she had been a patient since October.

“I cannot praise the staff at Beardwood highly enough, They have been absolutely remarkable and compassionate,” said Mr Parkinson.

Mrs Parkinson is also survived by her parents, Kenneth and Dorothy Bradshaw, of Read, and sister Mrs Carolyn Cort, of Whalley.

The funeral will be at St John’s Church, Read, next Wednesday at 1 p.m. followed by a private interment. The family have requested donations in aid of the Rosemere Cancer Foundation.