A WELL-KNOWN solicitor and former school governor has died.

David Watson died at his home, in Sunnyhurst Lane, Darwen, aged 86, with his wife, Margaret, and his family by his side.

He was a familiar figure in Darwen, working for Watson and Southworth, set up by his father, for many years. Educated at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, in Blackburn, and Trinity Hall, Cambridge, he studied sciences before turning to law.

When he qualified as a solicitor, he came top in the whole country to win the conveyancing prize.

He joined the family firm and concentrated initially on criminal law, spending many hours in Darwen Magistrate’s Court, one day prosecuting, the next defending. Later he concentrated more on estate work.

John Dewhurst, who was articled to the firm with the late Peter Lamster, said: “We were given a wonderful start to our careers and it was always enjoyable.

“It must have been, because neither of us thought of moving on. David was a fine man.”

Mr Watson was a governor at Stonyhurst College for nine years and, for more than 40 years, at St Thomas Aquinas RC Secondary School, in Darwen, and later at St Bede’s, Blackburn. For many years, he was the legal adviser to the Roman Catholic Diocese.

He played a leading role with the WM & BW Lloyd Charity Trust, and was a member of Darwen Rotary Club, which his father, Arthur, helped to found. His first wife Finnuala, with whom he had two sons, Christopher and Tim, and a daughter, Felicity, died in 1985, and he married Margaret Davis, widow of Frank Davis, head of local printers Wardley’s, in 1995.

Mr Watson’s funeral is to be held at Sacred Heart Church, Blackburn Road, Darwen, from noon on Monday, followed be cremation at Pleasington.