Well-known Nelson personality Olive (92) dies

Olive Slater

Olive Slater

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A WOMAN who was one of Nelson’s best-known personalities in the 20th Century has died aged 92.

Olive Slater, who passed away in Andrew Smith House on Sunday, certainly left her stamp on life in the town.

She will be remembered by those who knew her as an indefatigable writer of letters to this and many other newspapers, as a tireless worker for the St John Ambulance Brigade for 30 years, as a school crossing patrol in Nelson and Barrowford and as the woman who hit the headlines in the 1980s when the house next door to hers in Sussex Street was sawn in half during a marital dispute.

Born in Cambridgeshire, Olive moved to Nelson with her family at the age of 10 and attended Bradshaw Street and Walverden Schools.

She began work at the age of 14 in a unit of textile giant James Nelson’s called Lustrafil, moving on to the engineering firm AEI as a stores assistant and then, after being made redundant, to cleaning telephones in businesses, industry and commerce across Pendle, a job she described to us in 1980 as the best she ever had.

During the Second World War, she was in the thick of things both as an ARP warden and a cycle messenger.

Olive’s forthright style brought her before the TV cameras in the 1970s when she took part in a debate with the moralist and social activist from the 1970s, Mary Whitehouse, and her long years of service with the SJAB saw her meet sporting stars at Nelson Cricket Club and Turf Moor.

But it is her letter writing which she will be best remembered by many, never being afraid to make her views known on a wide range of subjects.