Fleetwood pays tribute to Fisherman's Friend tycoon Doreen Lofthouse who has died aged 91
Tributes have been paid to Doreen Lofthouse, the 'mother of Fleetwood', who has died aged 91.
Mrs Lofthouse died in Blackpool Victoria Hospital on Tuesday (March 30) after more than 60 years at the helm of Fleetwood's world-famous lozenge company Fisherman's Friend.
Since 1963, Mrs Lofthouse had been a key figure in the company and in her hometown, where she set up 'The Lofthouse Foundation' to fund community projects including improvements to the Prom, Mount Pavilion, playgrounds and Fleetwood Hospital, as well as part of the town's shopping centre - now named Fisherman's Walk.
Mrs Lofthouse also donated a replacement for the town's landmark Eros statue after the original was damaged by sea air and salty water.
And in 2019, Doreen and her family set aside a whopping £30 million to help fund future community projects in her beloved seaside town.
Her affection and loyalty for Fleetwood and its people led to some affectionately referring to Mrs Lofthouse as the 'Mother of Fleetwood'.
Her husband Tony Lofthouse died in 2018 at the age of 74, and yesterday (March 30), it was sadly confirmed that Mrs Lofthouse had died at the age of 91.
Council, police and football clubs pay tribute to Mrs Lofthouse
Margaret Daniels, chairman of Fleetwood Civic Society, said: "Doreen was our honorary president.
"She was very important to Fleetwood, she really loved this town and did what she could for it.
"When plans were being made to try and set up a statue to the town's founder, she didn't think twice about making a substantial donation."
Mary Stirzaker, chairman of Fleetwood Town Council, said: "Mrs Lofthouse's legacy will live on in Fleetwood.
"She was an incredible benefactor for Fleetwood and was always proud of the town she came from."
The town council also tweeted: "Terribly sad news that the Mother of Fleetwood, Doreen Lofthouse, has passed.
"Doreen has given so much to the town she loves, her presence in Fleetwood will live on. Long may her legacy last."
Garry Payne, chief executive of Wyre Council, and Coun David Henderson, leader of the council, said in a joint statement: "We are deeply saddened to hear of Mrs Doreen Lofthouse OBE’s passing.
"She was a woman who deeply cared about the town and I thank her for everything she has done."
Superintendent Damian Kitchen, of Lancashire Police, said: "Mrs Lofthouse gave hundreds of thousands of pounds to the @LancsPolice ANPR development project in 2009 following being a victim of a horrendous robbery. What a great legacy of safety and protection she leaves. RIP Doreen."
Fleetwood Town FC and Wrens Ladies tweeted: "Everyone at Fleetwood Town FC sends our sincere condolences to the Lofthouse family. Doreen put our town on the map and will be sadly missed."
People of Fleetwood pay tribute to Mrs Lofthouse
David Pearce, chairman of the Jacinta Charitable Trust and former local journalist, said: "I first met the Lofthouse family more than 60 years ago when her later husband Tony and I were pals at school.
"Later in life as a local journalist I wrote about the success of the Fisherman's Friend brand, developed by Doreen.
"She had great business ability and shrewd acumen.
"The Lofthouses backed various community projects in Fleetwood which I was a part of, like the celebrations for Fleetwood's 150th birthday and the Jacinta heritage trawler project.
"They used money for their very successful business in an attempt to make Fleetwood a more attractive place for people who lived there and visitors.
"But by building their company they did something else very important - they created jobs in a town where work can be hard to find."
Town councillor Cheryl Raynor said: "She was one of those people I can’t imagine not being here. An integral part of our communities and did so much for our town."
Local business Jars of Joy tweeted: "RIP Doreen Lofthouse OBE MBE Fleetwood is so fortunate to of had your patronage and support x Thank you for all your kindness and generosity beautiful lady."
"A very sad day indeed for Fleetwood," said one resident, Martin Hull.
"Such a lovely lady who has done so much good for others and the town throughout her life."
"Fleetwood owes such a lot to this great lady," said Julie Dalton.
Toni Bennett said: "So so sad. RIP Mrs Lofthouse. You will never be forgotten for all you have done for Fleetwood. My thoughts are with your family and friends at this sad time."
Maureen Laird echoed Tony's sentiments, saying: "RIP what an amazing lady. She will be missed by all in Fleetwood. What a family empire they have built and such a generous gift given back to the community."
Ginny Evans added: "Such sad news, she was Fleetwood’s biggest cheerleader and will be sadly missed. I hope her legacy will live on with the company."
And Sheila Latham said: "Such sad news, what an amazing lady. She loved Fleetwood and Fleetwood loved her, thank you Doreen. God Bless and rest in peace."
Originally sold in the local Lofthouse chemist shop, Fisherman’s Friend now produces more than five billion lozenges annually in the Fleetwood factory.
The lozenge is sold in more than 100 countries around the world