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Former mayor dies a day after turning 94
A FORMER Mayor of Bury, who was instrumental in bringing Metrolink to the borough, has died a day after celebrating his 94th birthday.
And it was fitting that the highlight of Mr Winston Ramsey’s year as “first citizen” in 1992-93 was when he proudly met The Queen at Bury Interchange after she had travelled to the town aboard a tram.
Mr Ramsey, of Victor Avenue, who had been ill for some time, died on Sunday at the Spurr House Residential Care Home, in Pole Lane, Unsworth, where he had been receiving respite care.
He leaves a wife, Ruth, aged 88, and daughter, Linda. The couple also had a late son, Alan.
A day before Mr Ramsey’s death, friends and family had gathered at Spurr House to help him celebrate his 94th birthday.
Daughter Linda said: “We had a brilliant time and all sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to him.”
Born and educated in Bury, Mr Ramsey was a plumbing and heating engineer throughout his working life and latterly ran his own business prior to his retirement.
During the Second World War, he was attached to The Chindits, a British India “Special Force” that served in Burma and India during the Burma Campaign.
Later, he was a long-time member and treasurer of the local branch of the Burma Star Association and represented the organisation at numerous annual Remembrance Day parades and services in Bury.
He and wife Ruth, who was mayoress during 1992-93, married in March 1946.
Mr Ramsey entered local politics when he became a Labour councillor for Bury’s Moorside ward in 1983. His forte was transport and, for a number of years, he served as Bury Council’s representative on the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority (GMPTA).
He also played a leading role in helping to bring the Ring and Ride door-to-door transport service to Bury. For several years, he was the local authority’s lead spokesman on highways and transport management affairs and chairman of the highways and transportation committee.
On July 18, 1992, as mayor, he had the honour of meeting the Queen at Bury Interchange after she had officially opened the Metrolink network at a ceremony in Manchester. He accompanied her to a luncheon at Bury Town Hall as thousands of spectators looked on.
Linda recalled: “That was definitely his proudest moment as the Mayor of Bury. We had pictures of that occasion all around the house.”
Mr Ramsey stood down from Bury Council in 2003. Paying tribute, Bury Council leader Cllr Mike Connolly said: “The fact that Bury was first to get Metrolink was down to the efforts of Winston Ramsey and the late councillor Gordon Sharkey.
“Winston was a lovely and wise man. He was good to me and when I became a councillor he showed me the ropes and gave me a lot of good advice. Winston was held in the highest esteem and I send my condolences to his family. He served his ward, town and party with distinction.”
n Funeral details had not been finalised at the time of press.
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