A former Mayor of Bolton and long servant to Westhoughton, Peter Finch, has died aged 84 after a short illness.

Peter was born in Westhoughton in 1937 and attended Fourgates County Primary School. At the age of six he was orphaned and brought up by his sister Mary and then later by sister Pat and her husband Tom.

He then attended Westhoughton Secondary Modern School and started his career in textiles where he worked for 38 years. Starting as a stripper and grinder before becoming a textile technician with the English Card Clothing Company and then at Crosses and Heaton Ltd.

Mr Finch served in the Middle East and North Africa during the Suez Crisis. He also served as a Lance Corporal in the Royal Army Medical Corps from 1956-58.

He was appointed an Honorary Alderman in 2000, Mr Finch was a town councillor and borough councillor in Westhoughton for many years, serving as mayor of Westhoughton from 1986-87 and mayor of Bolton from 1998-99.

Partner Rita Fairhurst, who died in January this year, served as mayoress when he was mayor.

Bolton's Labour party paid tribute to Peter Finch in a post, saying: "Peter joined the Labour Party in the mid-1950s and was one of our longest serving members in Bolton West. He was a tireless campaigner working for Labour Governments until 2017 when illness prevented him from playing an active role in the 2019 campaign.

"A longstanding member of Westhoughton Town Council and one of the town's Councillors on Bolton Borough Council for many years, Peter chaired at various times Highways, Environmental Health and Youth Services Committees.

"He became Mayor of Westhoughton from 1985 to 1986 and of Bolton from 1988 to 1989. He worked through part of his term as Mayor with his leg in plaster after a holiday accident!

"Peter will be very sadly missed by many, his enthusiasm for his home town was quite unique he was certainly a great advocate for Westhoughton.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Peter's family and friends at this sad time and we will inform everyone of the Funeral arrangements as soon as they become available."

Peter was the chairman of governors of three primary schools in Westhoughton and had five children, three girls and two boys, of his own.