Bolton: Tributes to author and family man Dave Burnham

Tributes have been paid to a well-known Bolton author and historian after he died at the age of 71.

Dave Burnham was known to many for his writing, cartoon art,  and making a difference in the community, as well as his vast knowledge of history, which he shared during his time at Live From Worktown and throughout his career.

He died at Salford Royal Hospital peacefully with his family around him on October 8 following a cancer diagnosis and a stroke.

His wife of almost 40 years Linda Drury described him as a “kind, honest and true” family man who put his family at the centre of everything he did.

She said: “His family meant everything to him and were central to his life.

“He was devoted, and he loved big family events and getting everybody together and playing with the kids.

Dave with his loving family (Image: Public)

“He was a generous, kind, and loving man.

“His friendship lasted for life.

“He was a wonderful husband and father, and grandfather.”

Dave had two children Lizzy, and Alice, and six grandchildren, who he was “incredibly proud of, and loved spending time with them.

Before he died, he went on a family holiday to Llandudno with Linda, his children, their partners, and their four children.

Linda added: “We had a really special time and we got to do it for the children.

“We had buckets and spades and ice cream on the pier.

“It was a very traditional holiday and a lovely way to spend time together.”

Linda and Dave also managed to go to Crete in September where they stayed in their favourite village of Palaiochora, which Linda says are memories she will cherish.

Dave with his beloved wife (Image: Public)

Dave grew up in Isleworth, Brentford, and went to a boy’s grammar school in Isleworth.

He pursued his passion for history at Sheffield University and completed a qualification in social work and worked as a probation officer.

He also later completed a work-related MA.

Dave moved from Chorlton to Harwood, Bolton, to buy a house with Linda in 1982.

The local historian has led walks on Bill Naughton’s life, the Saints and Sinners of Bolton town centre, and Victorian Murders.

Keen to shine a light on Bolton’s history, whilst helping to provide a link between its past and present, he also wrote the A-Z of Bolton, which referred to many well-known people such as Nat Lofthouse, Peter Kay, and Fred Dibnah.

Dave Burnham speaks at the Live from Worktown Festival Launch and screening of Spring and Port Wine at Bolton Little Theatre, Hanover Street, Bolton. Credit: Karen Hope (Image: Public)

Linda says that he always had a project on the go, which was “always about people”, and that it never left him throughout his career.

Colleague and friend from Live at Worktown, Brad Wood said: “We at Live from Worktown have recently lost our dear friend and colleague, Dave Burnham.

“Dave was a huge part of our lives and of our group and he contributed so much over so many years. “He had so much left to give but he still left us with a treasure-trove of work – his art, his books and his walks amongst so much more will continue to live-on and bring joy to many.

“Now is a time for reflection on what Dave meant to us all but rest assured the projects he was working on will still see the light of day and will continue to enrich our cultural lives here in Bolton, the town he made his home.”

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