Weaste Cemetery

Biographies of people buried between 1940 & 49

Peter Ashcroft (1883 - 1947)

Alderman Peter Ashcroft was a member of Salford Council for 21 years and Mayor in 1936 – 37. He was a Conservative/Independent, and Leader of the Anti-Socialist Group on Council for 6 years. He was a Director of several cinemas in Salford.

He was born on 27th January 1883 in Bolton. His father was Stephen Ashcroft (born 1854 in Bolton) who was a General Labourer and Knocker-up, and his mother was Sarah Ashcroft (born 1858 in Bolton). Peter left elementary school in 1894 aged 11, went into a cotton mill as a half-timer, and then a full-timer in 1896 aged 13. By 1901, Peter was a Cotton Spinner's Piecer and in 1911 a Cotton Spinner. The following year, 29-year-old Peter opened a temperance bar in Bolton, which was so successful he opened others, including one in Salford. Later, and another change of direction, he formed the West Croft Billiards Hall Company Ltd, which built halls in Bolton, Hindley, Atherton, Farnworth, Manchester and Salford. Finally, and still in the Leisure industry Peter became proprietor of a chain of cinemas in north west England.

In 1908 Peter married Sarah Maud Pendlebury at Bolton, by Registrar. In 1911 the couple lived at 7 St.James Street, Farnworth, where Peter was described as a Cotton Spinner and Sarah was a Jack Frame Tenter. It would appear that they only had two children Olive (born 1912 in Farnworth, Bolton) and Mildred (born 1918 in Salford).

Peter Ashcroft's political career took off in 1922 when he won Seedley Ward, as an Independent Ratepayer where he served for 15 years, before becoming an Alderman in 1937 for Ordsall Park Ward. He became Leader of the Anti-Socialist group in 1936 and was appointed Mayor of Salford for one term in 1936/37. During his time on the Council Peter sat on most of the committees and was Chairman of the Building and Development Committee. He had a deep interest and contributed to the social and philanthropic life of Salford. He was Deputy Chair of Salford Children's Holiday Camp in Prestatyn and was a Trustee of Dickanson's Charity. He was also a prominent Freemason, being a Past Provincial Grand Deacon, a member of the Ionic Lodge and Crescent Lodge in Salford and latterly the Royal Archer Lodge in Ainsdale. Peter was also appointed a Magistrate in 1933 and served on the Licensing Committee.

During the time Peter Ashcroft was Mayor of Salford his wife Sarah was not well, and his daughter Mildred sometimes stepped in to deputise for her. He had a busy time on Christmas Day 1936 vising a number of venues where children and elderly people were having their Christmas Treat. And during the Coronation of King George VI he joined in the Salford festivities at events at Buile Hill Park and Kersal Moor.

On 6th June 1939 Peter's wife Sarah sadly died and was buried at grave A4/DISS/55 in Weaste Cemetery. She was 54 years old. Peter married again in April 1941 to Mrs Alice Warmisham at St Werburgh's Church, Chorlton-cum-Hardy. In April 1943 he retired from the Council due to poor health and he and Alice went to live in Ainsdale, Southport, Lancashire. However, Peter died on 30th September 1947, age 64. His body was returned to Salford, where he was re-united with Sarah at Weaste Cemetery.