A Blackpool Pleasure Beach stalwart who kept the resort’s miniature train running for more than 30 years has died.
Standing less than 5ft tall, ‘Little’ Teddy Askey, who had dwarfism, was a local celebrity and almost as famous as the Pleasure Beach Express he manned.
He died of natural causes on Wednesday at the age of 83.
His daughter Kessia, 31, said: “He was a bit of a local celebrity. When you’re his size you’re bound to get known!
“He would sit on his doorstep and people would pass by and say hello to him.
“People are definitely going to notice he’s gone.”
The father-of-two, who lived on Waterloo Road, worked in theatre before joining the Pleasure Beach staff in the 60s, and was awarded an OBE for his tireless dedication to the tourism industry.
Kessia said: “He loved it. He loved seeing the kids happy and smiling. People would come back just to see him and write to him telling them what a great time they had.
“He was always happy and always smiling and cheerful. He was friendly with everybody. He just enjoyed life and he had a lot of friends.
“I think people are going to be surprised that he’s gone. He wasn’t one for admitting his age or that he had retired. He never attended any retirement parties at the Pleasure Beach because he didn’t want to admit he wasn’t working any more.
“He never said goodbye. to anyone. He would always say ‘goodnight my love’ to me.
“I think people will remember Teddy smiling on the train, being happy and joking.
“That’s how he would want to be remembered.”
A Blackpool Pleasure Beach spokesman said: “Teddy Askey was a much loved member of the team at Blackpool Pleasure Beach and will be fondly remembered by many staff and visitors alike for the many years he spent driving the Pleasure Beach Express.
“Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with Teddy’s family and friends at this sad time.” Teddy’s funeral will take place at Lytham Crematorium on a date to be arranged.