Barnoldswick baker renowned for her Lancashire Oat Cakes receiving invaluable Pendleside Hospice support

Barry and Betty Wordsworth
Barry and Betty Wordsworth
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One of the last Lancashire Oat Cake bakers in the country – and her husband – are really benefiting from the various support services offered by Pendleside Hospice.

Betty Wordsworth, ran Stanley’s Crumpets bakery in Barnoldswick during the 1990s, supplying, along with other delicacies, Lancashire Oat Cake, to shops, market stalls and pubs.

If you’ve forgotten what a Lancashire Oat Cake is, do you remember stew and hard? Well the oat cake was the hard thin oaty bread bit and the stew was the beef filling.

Betty and her staff used to make eight to 10 dozen oat cakes a day, as well as crumpets, scotch pancakes, welsh pancakes and muffins – the muffins recipe was given to her by the Barlick rat catcher.

She was even filmed making oat cakes by the BBC TV’s Food And Drink programme.

But in her late 60s she started to speak with a lisp, and had difficulties eating some foods. At first doctors thought it was a dental issue and she had several treatments to re-align her teeth.

However, in 2012, aged 69, she was diagnosed with bulbar palsy motor neurone disease.

Six years on, Betty has lost the ability to speak and is confined to a wheelchair. Her terrace home in Barnoldswick has had to undergo a massive transformation to adapt to her needs.

Husband Barry said: “Motor neurone is a disease that destroys two lives. Firstly, the person who is sadly suffering the illness. And secondly, the person, either husband or wife, who has to look after them day and night.”

And now Pendleside Hospice is helping to ease the couple’s ongoing challenges by giving Betty day care treatment and care at home and Barry therapy and guidance. They’ve also supplied Hospice At Home nurses.

The couple met when they worked at Silentnight in the 1960s – Barry was a sawyer and Betty a sewing machinist. They married in October, 1967.

Barry (73) who later worked as a polisher at Rolls-Royce, said: “Everyone at Pendleside has been incredible. The day services unit is an oasis of care and support.

“Initially Betty attended one day a week. They look after her, feed her at lunchtime and involve her with other people. They also give her therapies such as massaging her hands which helps with managing her symptoms.

“The time she spends at the hospice allows me a few hours off. But the hospice has also directly helped me by introducing me to walking companions as well as other therapies.”