Former Brierfield doctor Jean Drinkwater has died suddenly, aged 85. She was a well-known figure in the town where she ran a popular GP’s surgery with her late husband Peter for more than 30 years.
Known as Dr Jean and Dr Peter, they ran their general practice from their home in Burnley Road, then at a purpose-built health centre in Arthur Street. As well as the day-to-day running of the medical services, they acted as trainers and mentors for young doctors, including Dr Mike Ions and Dr David Webborn, who now run the Pendle View Medical Centre.
Dr Ions said: “Jean and Peter Drinkwater were part of the fabric of Brierfield – hard working, dedicated and kind.
“They devoted their lives to helping the local people. Outside of their family, medicine was their life and it is very sad to hear of Jean’s passing.”
The couple arrived in Pendle in 1954 after they qualified from Manchester University Medical School where they met.
Born in Macclesfield in 1925, she was head girl at Macclesfield Girls Grammar School. Although offered a top research post at Manchester University, she decided instead to devote her life to general medicine and raising her three sons.
The doctors moved into Stubblefield House, in Burnley Road, in the mid 1950s where Dr Jean remained until the later years of her life, even after the death of her husband in October, 2000.
They were both active members of St Luke’s Church and Jean was heavily involved in the local branch of Cruse, the bereavement charity. She loved the outdoors and was a keen walker. When in their 60s, the couple set aside many weekends, over a number of months, to complete the Pennine Way. A keen gardener with an encyclopaedic knowledge of plants, she was a member of the Royal Horticultural Society and loved propagating plants in the greenhouse for her much-admired garden.
She also supported many national and local charities including the Yorkshire Dales Society, National Trust, RSPB, Marie Curie and Pendleside Hospice.
She died in Marsden Grange Residential Home, Nelson, on Wednesday last week and leaves sons, Richard, John and Andrew and eight grandchildren.
The funeral takes place at Burnley Crematorium at 2-20 p.m. on Friday.