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Ribble Valley community stalwart Bruce Dowles dies

film fun: Councillors Allan and Susan Knox with Ribble Valley Fun Clubs Bruce Dowles enjoy a glass of wine before the film.

film fun: Councillors Allan and Susan Knox with Ribble Valley Fun Clubs Bruce Dowles enjoy a glass of wine before the film.

A popular figure on the Ribble Valley’s political and social scene, Mr Bruce Dowles, has died aged 65 after a short illness.

Mr Dowles, of Whalley Road, Clitheroe, a former administrative officer with Ribble Valley Borough Council, had been chairman of Ribble Valley Labour Party and stood for local election before joining the Liberal Democrats in 1995.

He was also a founder member and first team leader of Clitheroe Morris Men and founded the Ribble Film Club, which changed its name to Ribble Fun Club and is based at the New Inn in Parson Lane.

Mr Dowles had also been clerk to Bolton-by-Bowland, Gisburn Forest and Sawley Parish Council for more than 20 years.

“Bruce was very reliable, dedicated and well organised, and always kept councillors well informed and up to date about what was going on in Ribble Valley,” said parish councillor Mrs Joan Porter.

“He always had everything well prepared and was always there early for meetings, even in the worst weather. He was very much appreciated.”

Ribble Valley Borough Council chief executive Marshal Scott said: “Bruce worked for the authority for many years and was a well-respected member of staff.

“He still had many friends among the council’s workforce and our thoughts are with his wife and family.”

Originally from East Ham, London, Mr Dowles remained a life-long Leyton Orient supporter, but also supported Clitheroe FC and forged links for the club in Australia. He leaves a wife, Janet, and brother-in-law Gary Smith.

Mr Smith said: “Bruce was well liked and well regarded by everyone who knew him, and over the years he did a lot for the community.”

A service will be held on Tuesday at Clitheroe Funeral Services at 11-15am followed by burial at Clitheroe Cemetery. His family have requested family flowers only, but donations in his memory can be made to any cat charity of the donor’s choice.

 

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