Wilfred Spencer Room at Pendle Heritage Centre (Photographs credit: Dawn Beaumont)

Wilfred Micah Spencer was born at 46 Castle Road, Colne on 1 June 1918, and from an early age took a keen interest in Colne’s notable history. During the 2nd World War, he served in the British Army and in 1941 was on duty in India. On his return to civilian life he became, at the age of 30 years, the Colne Borough Librarian at a salary of £420 per annum. An immensely likeable and charming man he could often be found either encouraging young readers or campaigning against the demolition of Colne’s historical landmarks.

He built and nurtured The Colne Collection (which his predecessor, Miss Evelyn M Jowett, had commenced on her appointment as Librarian in 1945).

This ‘collection’ was made up of odds and ends of Colne’s history, which included small bundles of legal papers together with thousands of other bits and pieces, including advertisements from the Colne and Nelson Times. These gems of social history could so easily have been lost and it is testament to him that they have survived. Sadly Wilfred died in 1960, aged only 52 years, leaving a wife and five children. His name is forever inscribed on the Colne Hall of Fame.

The Wilfred Spencer Collection can be accessed at Lancashire Archives (Ref: DDSP).

by Brenda Taylor