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Friday, 21 November 2014

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Colourful tribute to honour amazing Cumbria man

A KEEN Cumbria thespian who lived life to the full will be remembered with a colourful celebration next week.

A0226326.jpg
AM DRAM HERO Bill Springthorpe as Sergeant Meryll in Barrow Savoyards’ production of Yeoman of the Guard in 2004. Below, Mr Springthorpe appearing in, clockwise from top right, Hindle Wakes, Gilbert and Sullivan’s Ruddigore, My Fair Lady, Utopia Limited, Iolanthe and The Sorcerer main picture SHEENAH ALCOCK REF: 0226326

Bill Springthorpe, a prolific amateur dramatic actor, died on April 11, aged 75.

He graced the stage in countless productions with Barrow Savoyards and Ulverston Amateur Operatic Society, a passion he shared with his wife, Barbara.

The couple enjoyed a busy life, sharing many hobbies and interests in the 58 years they were together.

Sharing a heartfelt tribute Mrs Springthorpe, of Croftlands, Ulverston, said: “We did everything together. He was absolutely amazing. He did so much and knew so many people. All the cards and letters we’ve got all say the same thing: ‘He was a lovely, lovely man’. Everybody loved him.”

The couple met as teenagers in their home town of Newport, South Wales.

They married in their local Methodist church, where they met six years earlier, and have been married 52 years.

The couple relocated to Cumbria, with two young children, Sarah and Neil, when Mr Springthorpe got a job as a paper maker at Bowater-Scott, in Barrow.

A love of singing with the church developed into a passion for performance and the couple enjoyed more than 20 years in the amateur dramatics.

Mr Springthorpe’s last performance was in Whistle Down The Wind in September, at which time he was already fighting prostate cancer.

“He made no secret of it and always encouraged men to get tested out,” said Mrs Springthorpe.

Mr Springthorpe’s many stage credits include My Fair Lady, Guys and Dolls, Die Fledermaus, The Pyjama Game and Fiddler On The Roof.

“He particularly loved Gilbert and Sullivan,” said Mrs Springthorpe.

The couple also found time to sail around the British Isles in their sailing cruiser Ha’penny Breeze and have been members of Coniston Sailing Club for 35 years.

Mr Springthorpe was secretary of Ulverston Methodist Church and a celebration of his life will be held there on Friday.

At his request, people are asked to wear bright colours and enjoy a service of songs, readings and hymns.

“The support the family has received from friends, church members, Macmillan nurses and the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, has been overwhelming,” added Mrs Springthorpe.

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