Cross-party tributes to former Pendle Mayor and Nelson Town Crier

Coun. Tony Beckett during his time as Nelson Town Crier in 2013
Coun. Tony Beckett during his time as Nelson Town Crier in 2013

Tributes from across the political spectrum have poured in for a popular former Mayor of Pendle who has died.

As reported earlier, former Conservative councillor, businessman and Nelson Town Crier Tony Beckett died at the weekend.

Pendle Council’s chief executive Dean Langton said: “Tony was a Pendle councillor from 1976 until 1980 and from 2000 until 2015 when he retired. He clocked up nearly 20 years working for Pendle and was a very hard-working councillor.”

Tony Beckett was Mayor of Pendle between 2010 and 2011 with his wife Margaret as Mayoress. It was a role they greatly enjoyed.

Speaking after his mayoral year Tony had said: “I’ve enjoyed everything! It’s been an experience money just can’t buy.

“Margaret and I believe that you get out of life what you put into it, and that’s how we’ve addressed our year as Mayor and Mayoress of Pendle.”

During their year as Mayor and Mayoress, Coun. Beckett and his wife Margaret successfully raised substantial funds for their chosen charities: Help for Heroes, The Samaritans and Pendle Women’s Refuge.

Labour's Pendle Council leader Coun. Mohammed Iqbal said: “I was privileged to know and work with Tony during his period on Pendle Council.

“He was a true gentleman who went beyond the political boundaries to work to improve people’s lives. He will be missed by all those who knew him.”

Deputy leader, Lib Dem Coun. David Whipp said: “During the time we served together on Pendle Council I always found Tony a very principled, but pragmatic person.

“I’m sorry to hear that he has passed away. My thoughts are with his family at such a sad time.”

Leader of the Conservative Group at Pendle Council, Coun. Christian Wakeford added: "I’m truly saddened to hear of Tony’s death.

“Tony was a true gentleman who cared passionately about Pendle and worked tirelessly to see the borough he loved improve.

“It was a tremendous honour to replace him at the council when ill health brought about his retirement and he certainly left some very large shoes to fill.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Margaret and the rest of the family at this difficult time.”

In addition to being an active local councillor, Tony Beckett was also the Nelson Town Crier and became Champion Town Crier in 2011 in Blackpool, beating off competition from around the country.

As Town Crier he played a key role at Lancashire Day events in Nelson for many years.