Pendleton village stalwart dies at 86

The late Emma Thornber. (s)
The late Emma Thornber. (s)

A woman whose roots with Pendleton stayed strong throughout her life has died aged 86.

Mrs Emma Thornber was born and brought up in the village and kept a strong bond with it.

Born Emma Cowperthwaite, in 1928, she was the third child of William and Mercy.

She and her four siblings, Mary, Ruth, George and Edna, were brought up at Schofield Farm. Emma was christened, confirmed and married at the village’s All Saints’ Church, which she loved all her life.

After attending Pendleton and Mearley CE School, she went on to Ribblesdale and then worked on the family farm.

Around this time, she joined Clitheroe Young Farmers’ Club.

When her mother died, in 1945, Ruth and Emma ran the family home, working both inside and also on the farm.

Emma had a real flair for baking, which she continued all her life. She often made a least 20 Christmas cakes, which she would give to family and friends. Her speciality was ginger biscuits and rocky road, which she made to her own secret recipe.

Ahe married James Thornber at Pendleton in 1950. After starting married life in Park Avenue, Clitheroe, they moved to Eastham Street. They had four sons, Stephen, John, Mark and James.

They enjoyed family holidays in this country and liked nothing better than staying in a caravan in Pendleton.

She made many close friends and, for a long time, the couple helped run the trolley shop at Clitheroe Hospital. She was a life-long member of Pendleton Women’s Institute.

Emma’s husband died in 1985. Jim, as he was known, was chairman and managing director of James Thornber Ltd textile manufacturers of Clitheroe. He shared her love of Pendleton Church and was a sidesman and its treasurer for years.

She remained in Clitheroe until February last year when she moved to the Manor House, Chatburn.

The funeral service took place at Pendleton on Monday, followed by interment in the churchyard.

She leaves her four sons, sister Edna, 11 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren, nephews and nieces.