Tributes paid to popular historian and Blackburn business owner
3:00pm Wednesday 25th September 2013 in News
TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular historian and business owner after he died suddenly in hospital.
Peter Worden, 75, from Blackburn, was well known for his work restoring historic films, as well as setting up Worden Opticians, in Ainsworth Street.
The grandfather-of-seven had a passion for local history, photography and cinematography.
The former Stonyhurst College pupil married wife Olwen at Sacred Heart Church, in Preston New Road, in 1966 and the couple had three children, Helen, John and Janet.
Helen said: “Dad had a wide range of hobbies and interests, all of which he pursued with great enthusiasm.
“The whole family are extremely proud of him.
“He was a devoted husband and much-loved father and grandfather. We will miss him terribly.”
Vicky Chiu, optometrist at Worden Opticians, now based in James Street, said: “He was always a lovely man, and a great person to work with.
“He had great enthusiasm for what he was doing.”
Peter, who died at Royal Blackburn Hospital on Thursday, will be remembered for his involvement with the restoration, and preservation, of the Mitchell and Kenyon films, a hoard of film negatives which included footage of PE lessons at Audley Range School in around 1904.
The Mitchell and Kenyon Collection is the largest surviving collection of early non-fiction actuality films in the world.
Peter was offered the chance to examine the rolls when they were discovered in 1994, and researched into the films, providing an invaluable insight into the film company, and their productions, in an article published as ‘Forgotten Firm’.
Gerald Jackson, a friend for 40 years, said: “He was a local legend in Blackburn, and his work to preserve our local film history is legendary.
“Many in Blackburn will have known Peter and I'm sure will want to pass on their own condolences to all his family.
“I'll certainly miss and never forget him.”
Peter was also a member of Blackburn Rotary Club and the local Probus group.
Brian Lloyd, from Blackburn Rotary Club, said: “He was a very involved man and was very determined to get things done.
“He was a great help when we did charity events as part of the club.”
A funeral service will be held on Friday, at 10.15am, at St Peter’s Church, in Stonyhurst. All are then invited to attend Pleasington Crematorium in Blackburn. Family and friends will gather at the Feildens Arms, in Whalley Road, Mellor Brook, after the service.
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