Grandad had ‘passion for Preston’

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Tributes have been paid to a passionate city historian who died after a battle with leukaemia.

Henry Kirby, 75, of Lancaster Road North, Preston, was known for his love of Preston’s history and for many years ran a coin and medal shop in the city.

Mr Kirby, a grandad-of-one, joined the Cold Stream Guards after leaving school and was promoted to Sergeant by the age of 20.

After leaving the military, he ran the Coin and Medal Centre above the Adelphi pub in Fylde Street Preston for more than 15 years, before working as a council street cleansing worker.

His son Philip Kirby, of Moor Hey, Penwortham, who runs Philip Kirby Electrical, said: “He was a character, he just loved Preston.

“Going into his flat is like going into the Harris Library.

“He was born in Freckleton but he initially started going to Preston following Preston North End.

“That led him to relocate to Preston and spurred him on to research the city.”

Henry co-authored a number of history books including one on soldier William Young who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his heroics in the First World War, and he was an avid collector of Guild memorabilia.

Mr Kirby who died at St Catherine’s Hospice on May 31, leaves behind ex-wife Maureen Kirby, 78, step-children Graham Collinson and Deborah Tyrer, four-year-old grandson Daniel and sisters Margaret Burns and Mavis Chapman.

His funeral service will take place at Fulwood Methodist Church, in Watling Street Road, Preston, at 1.15pm on Wednesday.

Family members are invited to send flowers to Brown Funerals in Woodplumpton Road, Preston, but donations can be made to St Catherine’s Hospice.