Popular and much loved former teacher dies

Far left Cynthia Sharp. (s)
Far left Cynthia Sharp. (s)
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A former teacher who was well known in local sporting circles and had a huge talent with a needle and thread has died at the age of 79.

Cynthia Sharp, of Goosebutts Lane, Clitheroe, was well known in the town and touched many lives with her warm heart and cheerful smile.

Born to greengrocers Harold and Bertha Blackburn in 1936, Cynthia grew up on Castle View with older brother Malcolm.

Her love of sport was clear from an early age as she would regularly take part in football and cricket matches with the boys on the street – often ending up in goal.

She also learned to sew with her maiden aunts while she was very young and enjoyed knitting and crocheting - often making clothes for herself and her family.

And any other spare time she had would be spent attending dances at the Young Britons’ Club, now the Conservative Club in Castle Street.

After attending Pendle Junior School, she moved on to Clitheroe Royal Grammar School for Girls, where she was captain on the hockey and netball teams.

She would later become President of the CRGS Old Girls’ Committee and helped organise the 450th anniversary celebration.

In her early 20s, Cynthia trained to be a teacher at Edge Hill College, Ormskirk, and took her first posts at Rishton Methodist School and back in Clitheroe at St James’ CEPrimary School.

Then in September 1965 she married Robin – himself a keen sportsman – and later that month the couple moved to Kidlington, Oxfordshire, where Cynthia resumed her teaching career.

They spent the next 13 years in the South during which time they had two children, Marcus and Fiona.

But Cynthia was happy to move back to her beloved Clitheroe in 1978 and they became active members of the town’s community.

Sport remained central to her own and her family’s life and travelling the country to watch Marcus play professional cricket was a big thrill for her.

For many years, Robin has been chairman of Clitheroe Cricket Club, but it was Cynthia who helped to restore the tennis section in the early 80s.

And she continued to play tennis at Chatburn Road and Roefield at a high standard well into her seventies.

Much of her time was devoted to her family, but she went back to work locally at All Saints Church School in Clayton-le-Moors.

She also taught crochet at night school and was delighted that daughter Fiona inherited her love of textiles.

In later life she enjoyed spending time in her garden and she was a keen member of the Flower Club at Whalley, as well as the Waddington WI.

At St James’ Church, she was a Sunday School teacher for many years and was well known for her gift of telling stories to children.

More recently she was a regular sidesperson and played the piano for the midweek services. In recent weeks, she had been organising this month’s Women’s World Day of Prayer.

Watching sport live and on television also remained a great passion for her and she also enjoyed welcoming guests to her home.

Above all though, Cynthia loved being around her family and her four grandchildren – Molly, Mia, Daisy and Samuel – gave her huge pleasure.

She died in the Royal Blackburn Hospital earlier this month after being taken ill at home – and will be missed greatly by her family and many friends.

Robin and his family have been inundated with cards and messages of sympathy and are grateful for them all.