Stalwart ‘lived to help others’

Tributes: Ray Ainscough with his wife Joan
Tributes: Ray Ainscough with his wife Joan
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A community stalwart who dedicated his life to helping others has died.

Ray Ainscough, 83, of Manor Road, Penwortham, was well known as a former Conservative councillor in the Fishwick ward and was involved in politics with his wife Joan for more than 20 years.

He served as her consort when she was elected Mayor in 1985, and continued to show a keen interest in his community.

Ray died on Wednesday surrounded by his family after suffering a stroke two years ago.

Joan, 81, his wife of 61 years, said: “We began in politics in Preston in the 60s. I was elected in 1967 and then Ray got the bug and decided he would fight the Fishwick ward, which was a Labour stronghold and had been for donkey’s years. There was great celebration when he won.

“He was a very determined man throughout his life. He said he would get elected, and he did.

“When I became mayor Ray was consort and he was fabulous in the role. We had a wonderful year.”

Before politics Ray, who has two children and three grandchildren, worked at a butcher’s shop in Longridge before moving to Deepdale and setting up his own.

Joan said: “He worked hard all his life for us. Even when he retired, it wasn’t for him.

“When he stopped being a councillor he helped me all the time. At that time I wasn’t driving and he was called on rather a lot.

“He could see what needed to be done (in Preston). He never lost an interest in driving around the ward to see over the years what had improved.

“He was a very kind man and made friends with all sorts of people who came to respect him. He was a man of his word.

“One thing that he fought for was recognition for the consort because the mayoress had a badge but the consort had nothing. He thought that was unfair.”

Joan said tributes have poured in from fellow politicians and people in the communtity since his death.

She said: “It does give me comfort. A lot of people say I am lucky to have had him for so long. I am lucky, but it’s still the end. It doesn’t make it any easier. I just feel I’ve lost a limb. He was a great man and he has left a big hole.”