He was such a fan of his heritage hero that he became known by the same name.
Geoffrey Law was dubbed ‘Mr Arkwright’ by friends for his long-running campaign to celebrate Preston’s cotton pioneer, Sir Richard Arkwright,
Tributes have now been paid to the history buff after he died at the age of 89.
Geoffrey campaigned to save Arkwright House in Stoneygate from demolition and took part in the 1992 Guild, dressed as his hero.
He was well-known in the city for pushing around his bicycle which was laden with leaflets and pens celebrating Arkwright, famed for inventing the cotton spinning machine.
Geoffrey was also well known at the Harris Museum and Art Gallery, where he spoke with enthusiasm about Lancashire’s cotton heritage.
Alex Walker, head of arts and heritage at the Harris, said: “He was a great character and a good friend of the Harris. I particularly remember how delighted he was when we acquired the portrait of Arkwright with the National Portrait Gallery.
“I introduced him to Sandy Nairne, director of the National Portrait Gallery, at the event we held at the Harris and he was so happy that evening.”
Geoffrey was born in Preston and educated at Hutton Grammar School, where he found a love of English literature.
Geoffrey spent time working for his father, who was owner of the Preston Box Company, who made cardborad boxes for English Electric and Beech’s chocolates.
He later joined the Army, serving in North Africa, Italy and Austria, where was based at Schonbrunn Barracks and cared for Army horses.
He was awarded the Africa Star, but has been described as a “modest hero”, not liking fuss to be made about his achievements. After the war, he returned to the family firm and was the first person to drive a Bond three-wheel minicar from Preston to Almelo in the Netherlands.
He later became involved in the campaign to save Arkwright House.
Aidan Turner-Bishop, of Preston and South Ribble Civic Trust, said: “Geoff was tireless in his enthusiasm for Arkwright and Preston’s heritage. He was kind, intelligent and modest. He will be missed.” Geoffrey never married and never had any children.
His nephew, Nigel Law, said: “There are a lot of stories about my uncle, especially the war ones, which I am only just learning about. They are lovely to hear.”
Geoffrey died on Tuesday January 29.
His funeral will be held at Preston Crematorium at 11.15am on Friday, February 15.