Tributes to Whalley couple

John Hartley and Helen Hardy
John Hartley and Helen Hardy

A well-respected and much-loved Whalley couple has sadly died within two months of each other.

John Hartley (88) and Helen Hardy (79) had been companions for nearly 20 years, living in King Street and recently Green Park Court, Barrow.

John had lived in Whalley most of his life. Born in Rawtenstall and educated at Rawtenstall Grammar School, he won a scholarship to Leeds College and trained to become a teacher. Always keen at cricket, he had captained the school team and also played for Rawtenstall, later becoming an umpire for the Lancashire league. He taught at schools in Longridge, Helmshore and Liverpool, but his career was interrupted by periods of ill health. Music was one of his passions and he played the church organ in Whalley, Barrow and Gisburn. John was also a keen rambler, had served time on the Parish Council and was a lollypop man in Whalley in the early nineties.

Helen came back from Burnley where most of her family still live, Always the carer, Helen looked after her ageing mother who was over 100 when she died. She also spent a lot of time with her three grandsons. She organised whist and dominoes for senior citizens for several years.

John and Helen attended the United Reform Church in Barrow. Helen died in August and is survived by two sons and their families and a brother and sister. A funeral service was held for John last week who died earlier this month. He is survived by two sisters, a daughter and their families.