A veteran who made a huge difference to the borough's armed forces community during his life was honoured today with a parade and the unveiling of road signs which now bear his name.

Colonel Eric Davidson, DL, MBE, organised Bury's annual Remembrance Day parade for almost 50 years before his death in May 2022, aged 84.

And to honour his service, Spenleach Lane in Hawkshaw, which leads to Holcombe Moor Training Camp off Bolton Road, has been renamed ‘Col Eric Davidson Way’ with a special unveiling ceremony today, March 17.

The road signs were unveiled by the Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Diane Hawkins and the Mayor of Bury, Cllr Sandra Walmsley.

Colonel Eric settled in Bury in 1963 and began planning Bury’s Remembrance Sunday parades in 1967 and continued to do so for almost half a century, as well as organising Bury’s annual poppy appeal.

Bury Times: Street sign unveilingStreet sign unveiling (Image: Danny Crompton)He worked as an accident prevention officer for Bury police, helping to ensure the route was safe and arranging the necessary highway closures, became a member of the Regimental Council in Lancashire, the founder and president of the Band and Corps of Drums of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (Lancashire) and the Deputy Lord Lieutenant in 2002.

He was made an MBE in 2018 and a Freeman of Bury in 2015 when he returned from the 100th anniversary commemoration of the Lancashire Fusiliers’ landing at Gallipoli.

Colonel Eric’s wife Marjorie and family from Bury attended the ceremony.

Marjorie said: “I met Eric when he was 19 and he was in the forces, he was in the RAF and I was in the women’s Royal Air Force. We just met there and were together ever since, 63 years we have been married and he passed away two years ago. I have never got over it and I don’t think I will ever get over it.

“But what they have done today is just so nice. I just can’t say how I feel, I am just so proud of him.”


Families, friends and colleagues gathered today for a special parade and the unveiling of new street signs named after a veteran who made a huge difference to Bury’s armed forces community… Colonel Eric Davidson. Read more on The Bury Times!

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Colonel Eric’s daughter Michelle said a few words about her dad at today’s unveiling.

She said: “What can I say, this is another honour to add onto all the previous ones dad had received both in his life and since his passing.

“We are all very, very proud of him and everything he has achieved.

“When we were initially told about the proposal of naming the road in his honour we didn’t have any clue where it was going to be, it was only when everything had been finalised and the road signs were up that we were told the location.

“And I have to say I cried because it could not have been more fitting.

“I don’t think there is any other place in the borough that would have fit any better, so whoever came up with the idea we are truly grateful.

Bury Times: Street sign before and after the unveilingStreet sign before and after the unveiling (Image: NQ)“It is so fitting because dad spent a lot of his time at the training camp in his younger years and as a family in our younger years. He used to come up and train with cadets and I remember coming up here on a regular basis too and I looked forward to it.

“Years later along with many other people, dad helped to organise the Krypton Factor Assault Course which was aimed at raising money and they raised thousands over the years.

“As a family we would like to thank every single person and every organisation who has made this happen today, we are overwhelmed by everything that is still being done nearly two years down the line, but it just goes to show what he meant to people and how much he was loved by people.

“He makes us very proud.”

Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Diane Hawkins, said: “We are here to remember and to honour one of Bury’s most generous and most respected adopted sons.

“It is very fitting that we are here at the entrance to the training camp at Holcombe Moor to remember somebody who made such a difference to young people and the town of Bury.

“Eric was born in Scotland, and he served the crown all his life from serving in the RAF to joining the police and the armed forces reserve and becoming a deputy lieutenant and that truly is dedication to his Queen for most of his life and country.

“But he adopted Bury as his hometown in 1963 and ever since then Bury has had great reason to be truly thankful for all that he did.”

Mayor of Bury, Cllr Walmsley, said: “As a councillor for 13 years in Bury, Colonel Eric was always very supportive of me, of the council, and the roles that we carry out in the borough.

“He was Bury’s adopted son, we were very proud to make him a freeman.

Bury Times: Colonel Eric's wife Marjorie and daughter Michelle at the unveilingColonel Eric's wife Marjorie and daughter Michelle at the unveiling (Image: Danny Crompton)“Things just aren’t the same in Bury without Colonel Eric and his bowler hat and his pointing umbrella.

“Colonel Eric always remembered your name, your family's name, he always made a point of asking and I think that goes for the very heart of the man who cared so much about people and that is reflected in all of the work that he did.”

Bury Council Leader, Cllr Eamonn O’Brien said: “We have heard a lot of Colonel Eric as a man, and he is quite rightly celebrated and remembered fondly across the borough, and we are adding to that legacy today by naming this road after him.

“And of course on the side of him being a freeman and his MBE, he is rightly remembered for all of the work that he did, but I wanted to reflect on Colonel Eric as not just the man but what he really represents about Bury.

“As an adopted son I think he does represent us as a place, somewhere that many of us have called our home even if we weren’t born here or our parents weren’t born here.

“He represents the friendliness, the inclusiveness of Bury and he resonated that back out to the people he met and the people he worked with.

“So, I think of him yes as a great man but also what he represents about our borough, so to his relationship with the military and the fusiliers and the work that he did to connect us better together, that speaks to what our borough is all about and our commitment to the armed forces.

“Finally, his example of service, his volunteering, that speaks to what our borough is all about.

“This is a fitting tribute to the man, but it is also a fitting tribute to our borough as well, something we can all celebrate and be proud of.”