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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Little Lever: Tributes paid to community figure May Barlow

The funeral of May Barlow was held on February 28, at King’s Church in Little Lever.

Mrs Barlow was well known in the village for her work with Little Lever Cricket Club, where she taught children the sport and won awards for her work.

She died on February 8, aged 91, the date of her late husband’s birthday.

May’s son, Gary Barlow, paid tribute to his late mother. He said: “We’ve had tributes from all over the world. She just was appreciated everywhere.

“She was an excellent mum. We have a different side to her than the cricket club side that everyone else saw.

“She just loved us all, she cherished her family like no tomorrow. We have grandchildren who are now seven, nine and 10.

“Before she went in the home, she would be playing with them, with their dolls and prams, that’s the woman she was.”

He added: “She was a woman in a man’s world. She raised all the funds for the cricket club, she got all the men to do it.

“It is what it is today because of her.

“She was just a wonderful woman, she never had a bad word for anybody and would help everybody, especially the juniors.

“One thing that sticks in my mind is, we knew our mum was popular, but you never realise how much.

“That church was packed. They were stood up and they were stood outside, and across the road in the library because they couldn’t get in.”

Cllr Sean Hornby of Little Lever also paid tribute. He said: “She was a great character for Little Lever. At the funeral every seat was taken and crowds of people were standing up, it was very respectful, and the age range was quite broad.

“The Lonsdale family, which was her maiden name, and the Barlow family, were instrumental in taking the cricket club from the wooden shacks it was to the great buildings we have today.

“She was involved in cricket throughout her life and received many awards for her work – she taught the young ones cricket.”

He added: “Years and years ago she and her husband used to do the milk round, so I first met her when I was a kid.

“Since I got onto the council we were in contact many, many times.

“She used to come to The Queens (Cllr Hornby’s pub) and sing on the karaoke nights with a couple of her friends. She was a nice lady.

“Occasionally I would call in and have a cup of tea with her.

“She was probably the lady that did more for our village than anyone, the lady I have always called Mrs Little Lever.

“May, we will never forget you and your legacy will continue.”

May leaves behind her son, Gary, and her daughter, Carol Baldwin.

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