Over the weekend we shared the sad news that Geoff Tolley had passed away. We have since been sent this lovely excerpt from a book by Harold Heys on Darreners.

Man who stumped Everton Weekes 

EVERTON WEEKES, star of the Lancashire League with Bacup in the post-war years, died last year [2020] at the age of 95. The Times’ obituary spoke of him with due reverence: “His feet were always in the right place to play a shot,” they enthused

Not when he came up against Geoff Tolley they weren’t! Weekes was just launching into another of his blistering innings over in the Rossendale Valley when he missed a trademark swipe and young Tolley, better known now as the Rev. Tolley, pounced, whipping off his bails and sending him packing.

Said Geoff, the long-time Ramsbottom wicket-keeper: “I had some good knocks, but the only thing anybody ever remembers me for stumping Everton Weekes!”

Cricketing days behind him, the Rev. Tolley came to Darwen and, after more than 30 years here, qualifies as a “Darrener.” It’s a role he heartily embraces – except when Rammy play Darwen. It gets a bit tricky…

He explained: “It was easy to fit into Darwen. Rammy is an old cotton town of similar size and with a tower on a hill as well as having very friendly people who care about the area. ”He was a URC minister and served the Darwen Churches Partnership for years. He believed that a part of his role was to serve the town and he was quickly involved in local affairs with the Civic Society, the Lloyd Charity Trust and the Rotary Club. He was a founder of the Darwen churches furniture project and food larders .You’d be hard-pressed to have met a more cheery chap bobbing around town.


  • Pen portrait from a recent local history book Darren & Darreners by Harold Heys.