Rare invitation to Colne celeb’s party

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This week’s column brings a rare slice of Foulridge history with an almost 60-year-old surviving invitation to one of local celebrity George Whittaker’s famous Foulridge festivities.

George was, for many years, managing director of the mighty Glen Mills cotton manufacturers and during the 1940s and ’50s would, with his family, throw wonderful parties at his palatial Foulridge home, “Kirk Rise” in Skipton Road.

Back in the early 1960s I was employed as a ledger-clerk at L. Threlfall and Son, the wine and spirit merchants in Market Street, Colne, and my late boss, the sartorial Harry Holmes Smith arrived in the office one day at mid-morning looking not his usual immaculate self, saying as he flashed by: “Please don’t disturb me, I’m recovering from George’s beanfeast!”

George Whittaker was a man of great substance. His Glen Mills cotton mill was hugely successful. He financed and directed a half-a-dozen superb films on Colne, including the definitive, splendid and historic “Lancashire Pride” and not forgetting his invitation to the acclaimed film director Alexander Mackendrick in 1951 to film the now classic and celebrated Ealing comedy “The Man In The White Suit” at Glen Mills and the Colne of yesteyear.

George’s years with us here are fondly remembered by all who knew him.