TRIBUTES have been paid to true community stalwart Ken Tennant who left has left the fondest of memories among the many people he knew.

Mr Tennant died on October 1 aged 88 after a long battle with diabetes. He was born on his parents’ farm at Bordley, near Rylstone, and went to school locally.

Whilst a trainee painter and decorator in Hetton, he shared the family home with his brother Thomas and sister-in-law Margaret, doting on their young children.

A trained youth leader, his life-long interest in amateur dramatics was played out with youth clubs and churches across the district. One of the infamous “Cracoe crew”, he was a regular at dances, a pastime that led to him meeting his wife, Sheila, whom he married in 1961, on his return from national service in Germany.

The newly-weds lived initially in Grassington, before moving to Earby in the severe winter of 1963 that saw the arrival of their first child. He was employed at Pilkington’s ironmongers in the town, later joining Skipton retailer Legard & Wynn; a job that saw regularly saw him criss-crossing the Dales, measuring up for furniture orders, always enjoying a cup of tea and a chat.

Briefer spells with other local retailers followed, as well as a particularly happy period working as election agent to John Lee, the former MP for Pendle.

Ken’s voluntary political career, spanning the Lancashire/Yorkshire border, had already seem him stand for election to Earby Urban District Council.

He become a JP in 1971, served as a meals on wheels and hospital shop volunteer and joined the governing boards and PTAs of all his children’s schools as well as countless other charity committees, such as the Earby Mines Museum Windle Trust.

Latterly his fundraising focussed on Earby’s New Road Community Centre and Linden Road Senior Citizens Centre.

He leaves his wife, Sheila, and children Christopher, Sarah and Nicholas.

A private funeral took place at St Mary’s Parish Church, Kelbrook, on October 15, followed by a burial at Earby Cemetery.