A MEMORIAL to the much loved former chairman of the Prestwich and Whitefield Heritage Society is to be unveiled.

The special plaque, dedicated to the memory of Ian Pringle, will be placed on the gateway between St Mary's Church and the Rectory in Church Lane, Prestwich.

The plaque has been funded from contributions made after a memorial service to Mr Pringle at St Mary's Church.

Mr Pringle was a founding member of the Prestwich Heritage Society and served as the society's chairman for many years before stepping down to pursue other interests in the community.

A lover of local history he photographed Prestwich from being 10-years-old, compiling a collection which is now housed in the Chetham's Library.

During his lifetime Mr Pringle was instructive in celebrating and preserving the cultural and historic environment of the locality ­— including playing a critical role in establishing Prestwich's two conservation areas.

Among his other notable contributions was his securing of lottery funding for the Prestwich Museum space above the town's library and his co-formulation of the time line of Prestwich housed in the museum which traces the town's history from the Saxon era.

Amanda Smith, the society's secretary, said: "Ian was a wonderful person.

"If you asked him anything about Prestwich he would be able to tell you. He was a fountain of knowledge and everybody really loved him."

"He just did everything he possibly could to keep Prestwich looking like it should," she added.

The plaque will be unveiled by The Mayor of Bury, Councillor Jane Black, at a public ceremony 2pm on February 26, which would have been Mr Pringle's 69th birthday.

Cllr Black said: "I am honoured to be asked to unveil the plaque in memory of Ian Pringle on what would have been his 69th birthday.

"Ian was a well known local historian, and was greatly knowledgeable about all things to do with Prestwich. This plaque is sited where it will be seen by many Clough walkers and visitors to St. Mary’s Church, which both featured in the books he wrote."

A society spokesman added: "The plaque says it all and we do hope it meets with the approval of members and Ian's friends who will be invited to participate in this event, along with Jane Black the Mayor of Bury who has kindly agreed to unveil it. We think it a fitting memorial for a man who gave much thought and love to Prestwich."