TRIBUTES have been paid to Barry Haigh, who helped established Mossley’s successful twinning link with French town Hem, following his death at the age of 79.
Barry, who had fought a brave battle against Parkinson’s disease, died at Ambridge House, Watersheddings, Oldham.
Paul Dowthwaite, secretary of Mossley Twinning Committee said: “Barry was a stalwart of Mossley’s twinning with Hem since it was set up in 1972 by the original Mossley Town Council, encouraged as it was, by the managing director of the French-owned Mossley Wool Combing and Spinning.
“After the initial civic enthusiasm waned, it was Barry who kept it going with annual visits to Hem to commemorate the Armistice and to put crosses on the English soldiers’ graves in Hem cemetery.
“As a good speaker of French and lover of the French countryside, he continued to be actively involved and to be part of creating the vibrant twinning committee which we have now. He is a sad loss to the twinning committee.”
Beverley Hilton, Barry’s daughter, added: “Dad was involved in the twinning link from the start as he was very keen on France and the French people and was a fluent speaker of the language.
“He had not been to France for some time because of his Parkinson’s but he still had lots of friends in Hem.”
Beverley described her father’s qualities as tenacious and persistent, especially the strength he displayed battling his illness.
“He was so strong willed and tackled everything as a task to be undertaken. He was an inspiration and was my hero,” she said.
Barry, who was a financial adviser with the Co-operative Insurance Service, came from a well-known Mossley family.
His father Rupert Hague had a garage on Mossley Road, his uncle Leonard a cobblers’ shop and another uncle Arnold a shoe shop, all in the town.
Barry was a massive Huddersfield Town football fan and at one time attended matches home and away.
In latter years he went to home matches and, when unable to drive, his family still took him to games.
He also loved classic cars, especially MGs and had a great knowledge of vehicles.
Barry leaves wife Kathleen, daughters Beverley and Susan and brother Robert, eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
His funeral was at Hollinwood Crematorium on Friday, January 11 followed by a wake at the York-shire Ward Conservative Club, Carrhill Road.