Photographer Garth Dawson who captured iconic and memorable pictures of Hyndburn across the decades has passed away.
Garth, who worked at the Accrington Observer for more than 30 years, died at home on Queens Road West in Accrington on Wednesday, December 14, aged 92.
His death comes two months after the passing of his wife of 67 years Dorothy Dawson.
During his career he captured some of the most era-defining moments in the borough, including tours by the Queen in 1955 and 1968 and the aftermath of the Black Panther killing in Baxenden in 1974.
Daughter Barbara Milne said he was ‘dedicated to Accrington and its people’.
She said: “He never stopped taking photographs. He lived for the Observer and there wasn’t much about cameras he didn’t know about.
“If he saw a fire engine he followed it. He was up at 6am every morning developing and printing and then would go out until all hours at night to take pictures of people’s parties and events that were going on.
“He liked to take pictures of people rather than scenes and liked to record people’s fun and games.
“We know lots of people who would say Garth took our wedding photos. He was dedicated to Accrington and it’s people.
“He was quite an unassuming man and was really hard working and just got on with it.”
Garth served in the RAF in the Second World War before joining the Observer as a freelance.
He set up his first studio on Union Road in Oswaldtwistle before later opening up studios on Infant Street and Bridge Street.
Barbara, who lives in Colne, said Garth was diagnosed with inoperable stomach cancer shortly after her mum’s death.
She said: “My mum passed away on October 4 and he collapsed on October 6. He was totally exhausted and it turned out he had stomach cancer that wasn’t operable. He was really dedicated to her.
“He was a big family man and we would always get together. The house was never empty of laughter.
“He had a very good sense of humour and was very witty. He had a passion for John Wayne and we have got lots of John Wayne plates all around the house.
Council leader Miles Parkinson said his photographs have left a ‘legacy’ for future generations to enjoy.
He said: “He took many iconic photographs of the decades of where he served and presenting the goings on across the borough.
“We all look at those pictures of yesteryear with nostalgia and how things were in an ever changing world.
“It’s always something that engrosses people and his photography will live on and that will be his legacy.”
The lifetime Accrington Camera Club member leaves daughters Barbara Milne and Judith Murphy, four grandchildren and one great-grandson.
The Observer will publish a special tribute to Garth in this week’s paper in shops on Wednesday.