Tributes have been paid to photographer Norman France, who passed away on February 11 at the age of 91.

Norman was the beloved husband of Anne, who he married in 1955. He was the dear son of the late Tom and Ellen France, and the loving uncle of Jeffrey and the late Stephen.

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Born and raised in Bolton, Norman began his career as a photographer at the Bolton Evening News, when it was owned by the Tilotson family. In the early 1970s he opened his own photography studio, specialising in commercial and industrial work.

He had special clearance to photograph members of the Royal Family when they visited the North West, and snapped the Queen and Prince Philip as part of their Jubilee Tour. He also photographed Princess Diana when she visited Bolton Hospice in 1993, and snapped the astronaut Neil Armstrong.

Norman loved to work on his swing at Westhoughton Golf Club, and was also keen on DIY. He was a former chairman of the rotary groups Round Table and 41 Club, and of the Probus retirement club.

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A keen traveller, he and Anne went all over the world, enjoying caravan trips to France and Europe. They also explored far-flung destinations such as the Far East, the Middle East and the USA.

Anne paid tribute to Norman, saying: “We enjoyed 65 happy years - we were a great team. He had a wonderful sense of humour and twinkly eyes.”

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