Dave Owen: 'I was only told ten minutes ago that I would have to do a speech; picking myself up from the floor I said that I can do this as I wanted to thank everybody involved with the book.
Firstly, I would like to thank Steve Hartley & WEC as I don’t know how far Darwen Days would be without his support, everybody knows that Steve rebuilt the tower top and donated the spitfire to the people of Darwen but not everybody knows he helps Darwen Days. People have said 'he can afford it'- maybe he can but he could keep the money for himself or he could give it to somebody else so thank you!
Then there is Lisa Copper- Steve Hartley's PA; she is one of the kindest ladies you will ever meet. Nothing is ever a problem when people say they go out of their way to help this lady does. I have said it before she is a credit to Steve and to WEC, thank you. I would also like to thank Stevie Bee for resizing and cleaning up all the images, Sonia Slater & Martin Fox for their work on the book cover. Chris Heys for many hours laying out the book. Thanks to Carol Tapp, who has spent so many hours researching & writing the book on our behalf. Thank you to the Darwen Days committee for doing everything they do by helping us save our history before it’s lost in time.
Finally, two more people to thank. Heroes come in many different shapes; you have soldiers, action heroes, mum or dad... well mine is a little different. He’s a retired man with a grumpy outside and a soft inside; you can ask him for help and he will say 'no I haven’t got time for that, get on with it yourself.' What he means is that the old bull knows that the young bull can do this himself without any help needed, but them you have the soft side where the old bull sees that the younger bull is struggling and says 'give it here, I will sort it', that is my hero.
Harold Heys, no matter how much this kind and gentle man has to do, he will sort it; a true Darrener who has a heart as big as the sky. He spend so many hours helping the people of Darwen without them even knowing about it. Three quarters of his day he’s helping the friends of Darwen cemetery, the friends of Darwen library and he even writes for the Lancashire Evening Telegraph in the Bygone Days section. So thank you Harold, truly you are my hero without your help editing the book we could never have done this.
Lastly I would like to thank the one person who deserves an OBE, the lady who has had to listen to me go on for years, rambling on about this great town history, shoving many photos under her nose and even dragging her for miles around the town, I have even seen her driving a pencil in her ear trying to pop her ear drum so that she doesn’t have to take any more. Marie is not from Darwen but I promise you she knows far more than most! I love you Marie Bell and thank you. When you have all read this book which I am sure should only take an hour or two on closing the back cover please spend just one minute thinking of these people who have spent hundreds of hours on this book for you. Thank you