A WOMAN born in Goostrey who played a major part in taking pictures of the pioneers of Jodrell Bank building the giant radio telescope on farmland near the village has died.

Only months from her 90th birthday, June Dale died at Mount Pleasant Nursing Home at Allostock.

She was among the first staff on the site recruited to work directly with its founder, Sir Bernard Lovell.

June was born on June 1, 1929, named after the month, and was looking forward with the family to celebrating her birthday.

She was an enthusiastic photographer, and a large part of her role with Sir Bernard was to capture work in progress, not only taking the pictures but developing and printing the images in a darkroom on the site.

June was born at Bridge House, Blackden Lane, and lived all her life a short distance from her birthplace in Church Bank in a new family home built by her father.

Her husband, Hedley Dale, a farmer's son from Siddington who worked as an engineer at Jodrell Bank in charge of its outstations, died in 2011.

She and Hedley met at a local dance on Christmas Eve and were married in 1952.

They began their life together in the Dale family home, where her brother Trevor, seven years her senior, who served in the RAF, also lived until his death.

June left school aged 14, and went to work with other local girls at Bengers canning factory in Holmes Chapel before she began her job at Jodrell Bank in her late teens.

She lost her mother Jessie through peritonitis when she was only six, and lived with an aunt and uncle at Farm Lane, Lower Withington, for some years until her father felt able to cope with her and her brother Trevor at home.

"She always spoke with sadness of losing her mother at the age of six," said her daughter Christine Cross, who lives in Goostrey.

"Although she was happy with her aunt and uncle she yearned for Church Bank, and was thrilled when her dad said she could return there in her early teens."

June took a lifelong interest in the village and its activities, including the women's section of Goostrey British Legion, because of her brother's service with the RAF.

Until she went into the nursing home she delivered St Luke's Parish Church magazine to homes in her part of Goostrey every month, and each year went house to house collecting donations for the British Legion Poppy Appeal.

Since her death was announced the family has received many messages of sympathy and condolences.

A friend said: "She was a lovely lady and her sudden death has shocked and saddened her many friends.

“It was amazing how she continued in all weathers, winter and summer, to deliver the parish magazine every month almost to the end of her life.

“She will be missed by those who knew her, and all our thoughts are with her family at this time in its sad loss."

The funeral service for June will be held on Monday, February 11 at 11am at St Luke's Parish Church, Goostrey, followed by interment in the village graveyard.