Tributes have been paid to a lifelong animal lover who rescued hundreds of horses.
Olive Lomas, who founded the Oswaldtwistle animal sanctuary Only Foals and Horses, passed away on Friday, December 27 aged 86.
The great-grandmother founded the animal sanctuary shortly after her husband George died in 1986.
Her son Joey said Olive had always cared for animals but ‘really threw herself into it’ after his father’s death.
He said: “My dad was her life and after he died she really focused on working for the protection of animals.
“She heard about this plot of land in Oswaldtwistle and established the sanctuary there. She started rescuing horses, goats, donkeys, foals – anything on four legs.”
Olive was inspired to name the sanctuary after BBC favourite Only Fools and Horses and wrote to creator John Sullivan for permission to use a similar name.
Joey said: “John Sullivan got back to her and agreed and they became friends. He became a regular donor to the sanctuary and they kept in phone contact until he died.
“She started naming all the Shetland ponies we had after characters in the series – we had Del Boy, Rodney, Trigger and loads of others. We definitely had some Trotters at the sanctuary.”
Olive’s aim was to raise awareness of the plight of young animals indiscriminately bred for slaughter.
Along with other volunteers she attended auctions all over the country and brought many foals back to the sanctuary.
Olive remained involved right up until her death and still had the final say on any decisions.
The sanctuary is still operating in Redshell Lane and volunteers continue to rescue, rehabilitate and rest the many needy horses, ponies and donkeys.
A funeral service for Olive was due to be held at Accrington Crematorium on Wednesday, January 8.