Harold Pearson – Penrith’s first traffic warden, builder and man of many interests

Harold pearson

The death occurred to Harold Pearson, Clifford Road, Penrith, who had a multitude of interests and was known for his generosity and helpfulness.

He had the distinction of being Penrith’s first traffic warden and also worked for many years as a builder.

Born in October 1937 in Wythwaite, Blencarn, he was one of four children of the late William and Mary Pearson.

He had a sister, Doreen, and two brothers, Maurice and Edward.

The family moved to Long Marton when Hiccup was still young, but then suffered a few misfortunes including the death of 13-year-old Edward when he was struck by lightning as he descended from a school bus.

They received support during this time from the Oddfellows Friendly Society, a philanthropic organization that Harold supported throughout his life.

He attended school in Long Marton and Appleby, leaving at the age of 15 to train as a mason with Lewthwaites of Appleby.

He also acquired extensive knowledge of plumbing, plastering, roofing, electrical and related trades.

During the harsh winter of 1963, Harold and the other builders working for the company were made redundant, but his reputation for having a wide range of skills immediately landed him another job in the building industry.

In November 1962 he married Elizabeth Stephenson of Temple Sowerby and the couple lived the next two years in Long Marton.

They then moved to Cliburn and later, in 1967, to Temple Sowerby, where he played an active role in village life.

He sat on the town hall and floral exhibitions committees and participated in the creation of a pétanque club, going door to door to generate support for the initiative.

He was a churchwarden for 17 years and was particularly fond of ringing bells and ringing the clock at the right time. He also joined the Special Police and served in the Appleby area for five years.

Deciding he would like to change careers, in 1970 Harold became Penrith’s first traffic warden and then assisted at Keswick.

He believed that the guards were there primarily to help motorists and had made many friends through his work.

However, he retained his interest in construction and after eight years as a traffic warden he resigned to take a job with the Eden District Council.

He worked there for 10 years before taking early retirement due to poor health.

Among his many interests were DIY – he would never throw away any items that could be repaired or remodeled – clock repair, photography, and auto mechanics.

He always stopped to help other struggling motorists, and on one occasion he and his wife missed a ferry from the Isle of Skye after doing so, leaving them to sleep the night in their own car.

Organizations in which he played an active role included Probus, the Freemasons, and the Oddfellows Friendly Society.

He held several positions within the latter body for more than half a century.

His great passion, however, was music, and he always owned and played any musical instrument, his favorite being the bagpipe.

He liked to play at events such as Burns Night dinners and New Year’s celebrations. Self-taught, he had fun for the fun of it.

He was a founding member of the Penrith and District Organ Society and also loved to sing, being a member of a 3Ms choir.

He enjoyed touring Scotland by car with his wife, and they also spent many coach holidays at home and abroad.

He loved parties, always being happy to talk to anyone about anything.

He is survived by his wife Elizabeth.


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