NOVELIST and scriptwriter James Hilton, a Cambridge University graduate who was born in Wilkinson Street in Leigh town centre, died in December, in Long Beach, California.

One of Britain’s best-selling novelist and an acclaimed Hollywood script writer Hilton (pictured) was best known for his works Goodbye Mr Chips and Lost Horizon.

The latter was set in fictitious Shangri-La and as a tribute to his book a 38,000 aircraft carrier of the same name was launched.