Funeral for well-loved local businessman

Bill Bowker
Bill Bowker
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The funeral has taken place of well-known Lancashire businessman Bill Bowker.

He died at the age of 81 after a short illness.

The funeral service was held yesterday at St Bartholomew’s Church, Chipping, near Preston.

Mr Bowker was the widely respected former owner of Lancashire transport operator W H Bowker Ltd.

The business was founded by his father in 1919, on his return from the First World War.

Based in Blackburn, the business started by making deliveries in East Lancashire and the docks in Liverpool on behalf of the local cotton industry. Following the sudden death of his father in 1955 just after the business had bought itself out of nationalisation, Mr Bowker took over the running of the business at the age of just 19.

He was later joined in the business by his brother Ken, son Bill, his nephews, grandson and his great niece who are now the fourth generation to work in the business.

Mr Bowker was actively involved in many local community and charity organisations.

He was an active patron of the Ribble Valley Conservative Association for more than 20 years, eventually becoming its chairman. He also became chairman of Blackburn Magistrates and received an MBE in 2006.

W H Bowker Ltd is a major UK and international transport and warehousing provider .

The Bowker Group also includes the prestigious Bowker Motor Dealership Group, comprising BMW, Mini, Maserati, Harley Davidson and BMW Motorrad in Blackburn and Preston.

Mr Bowker is survived by son Bill and daughter Elizabeth.

His wife Rosemary died in 2013.

His sonBill added: “He 
was a wonderful father who put other people before himself, never said no and always tried to help and support 
others.”