Pendleside Hospice’s oldest volunteer Kath dies aged 97

Pendleside Hospice’s oldest volunteer Kath Hancock has died aged 97 after a short illness.

Great great grandma Kath, of Trawden, had spent more than 18 years working at the hospice’s shop in Colne and on her 96th birthday was featured on ITV’s Granada Reports. She retired from the hospice just over a year ago.

Her family have asked for donations in Kath’s memory to be made to Pendleside.

Kath was born and brought up in Hull and moved to Trawden, aged 16, to escape the bombing during the Second World War.

After the war she worked at Bannisters’ textile mill in Trawden laying patterns on the looms. She later moved to Bannisters’ Boundary Mill in Colne where she worked in the office.

Her first husband Jack Lunt was the village blacksmith in Trawden. They had been married for 30 years when Jack died in his 50s.

She later married a childhood sweetheart from Hull who she hadn’t been in touch with for decades. Thomas Hancock moved to Trawden where he worked as an electrician at Smith and Nephews. He died in 1993.

When Kath was working three afternoons a week at the Pendleside shop in Dockray Street she said: “I love working in the shop. If I stayed at home I would get so fed up watching television all day. I like to keep active and meet people.”

Daughter-in-law Irene said: “Kath loved her time working in the shop. She was a real character and always made people laugh.”

Helen McVey, chief executive of Pendleside, said: “We are so sad to hear of Kath passing away. She was an inspiration to us all. Our sympathies go out to her family who helped her get to and from her work in the shop.”

Kath leaves two sons Richard, who lives in Trawden with his wife Irene, and David, who is married to Kath in Melbourne, Australia.