Former policeman and Clitheroe driving instructor dies


TRIBUTES have been paid to former police officer and sports enthusiast Mr Fred Booth (71), who died on Saturday surrounded by his family following a long illness.

Born in 1940 at Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, after leaving school aged 16 Fred joined the police force as a cadet, working at the police headquarters at Hutton, near Preston. He was made a constable on his 19th birthday and posted to Widnes, where he served until moving to Clitheroe in 1966.

He served in the traffic section, based at Reedley, in the late 1970s and shortly afterwards was promoted to sergeant before moving to Colne.

Fred, who retired in 1989 on his 49th birthday after 30 years with the police, went on to set up his own driving school in the town. He was quoted at the time saying: “I think driving standards have dropped recently, partly because learners are taught how to pass a driving test, not how to be responsible road users.”

During the next 11 years he was a driving instructor in and around Clitheroe and taught many local people to drive.

Fred held a first class advanced driving certificate and a heavy goods driving licence class one, both from his time with the police force. He was also the inspiration behind a safe driving fortnight on the A59 in the 1980s.

Fred met his wife, Gloria, just after he left secondary school and the couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary last September. They had four children, Michael, Gillian, Debbie and Kathryn.

In his spare time, Fred was always actively involved in local cricket, both as a player (he was a left arm spin bowler with the police and divisional teams) and as an umpire for the Clitheroe and District Cricket League, the Ribblesdale Cricket League as well as the Public Schools’ League and the Midweek League.

He was also umpire’s secretary of the Ribblesdale League for many years. In fact, just last summer, Fred umpired the Ramsbottom Cup final between Ribblesdale Wanderers and Read.

He was also secretary of the Clitheroe and District Snooker League and played for the police snooker team.

Fred could also often be found enjoying a game of dominoes at the Waggon and Horses, in Pimlico Road, Clitheroe, and was a steam enthusiast, attending many of the East Lancashire Railways gala days.

He leaves his wife and four children plus two grandchildren, George and Abbie.

A funeral service will be held at 11-45 a.m. on Monday at St Paul’s Church, Low Moor, Clitheroe, followed by cremation at Accrington.