GLOWING tributes have been paid to a former Atherton shopkeeper whose store was an "Aladdin's Cave" for the whole community.

Former magistrate on the Leigh Bench and Atherton Rotarian Trevor Hilton died in Wigan and Leigh Hospice at the age of 86 following a short illness.

For 30 years, Trevor ran Hilton's Hardware Store in Atherton – a traditional shop selling anything and everything from paraffin, coal bricks and model aeroplanes to fishing rods, elastic and fireworks.

After early retirement from the business, Trevor started driving a bus for Bolton Social Services and also continued in his many administrative roles at St Andrew's Church in Over Hulton.

But his years at the "little gem" Derby Street shop are remembered by hundreds of Atherton folk who took to social media to pay tribute.

David Featherstone said: "He used to sell everything and anything.

"If he didn't have it on the day he would make sure it was there for you the following day.

"He was respected in this town, not a bad word was heard against him.

"So many memories I have of him and his hardware store which was a little gem.

Vanda Yates recalled Christmas at the shop: "Christmas as a child of the 60s we waited in awe for his window displays – America had Macy's window displays we had the famous, magical Mr Hilton's.

"What more could you want?! RIP Mr Hilton and thank you for such wonderful childhood memories.

Echoing those sentiments, Elaine Fairhurst added: "It was a magical shop for kids especially at Christmas."

Trevor, who lived in Broadway, Atherton was married to his late wife Marianne for 53 years.

They had two children Anne and John, four grandchidren: Amy, Sam, Ben and Jessica (who is expecting Trevor's first great grandchild).

Leigh Journal:

Trevor with his granddaughter Jessica

A funeral service for Trevor's immediate family only will be held at St Andrew's Church, Over Hulton, on Friday, June 26 at 11am.

The cortège will leave Broadway at 10.45 and the community is invited to pay their respects while keeping to social distancing measures, or outside Trevor's former shop on Derby Street at 11.45am as the cortège travels to Howe Bridge Crematorium for a private committal.

Granddaughter Jessica said: “We would love to see the community pay their respects in this way because he was so special to so many people.

“We would also like to thank Wigan and Leigh Hospice for all their kindness and everyone for their kind words and memories.

"We have been overwhelmed by them.”