Charles Alexander Obituary, Death Cause – Tribute to Charles Alexander (Alex) Cowan who died Thursday 30th March 2023 age 84. The Society are saddened to announce the death of Alex Cowan, Vice President, Honorary Archivist and the last of the original three local historians who set up the Society in 2000. He passed away peacefully at home with his beloved wife Pat on Thursday 30th March 2023. Alex will be remembered by many local organisations, but our tribute is to his dedication to the recording of the history of Runcorn, his adopted town. Alex together with Bill Leathwood and Bert Starkey were the three Runcorn history stalwarts who founded the Society in 2000 and set out to record and archive the rich and varied heritage of Runcorn before it disappeared into the ether of time.
Promoting and furthering the activities of the Society more widely was another aim that Alex had firmly on his agenda. He was our first representative in the Cheshire Local History Association, and went on to serve on their committee and take a turn as their Chairman too. We are continuing to build on his initiative with our display table of Runcorn history on show every year at Cheshire Local History Day.
As the first Archivist of the Society, Alex served 22 years collecting and collating myriad individual snippets of history to form the extensive archive the Society has today. Unknown to many people Alex invested his own time into a second personal archive based on research articles, newspaper cuttings and records of individual events, buildings, industries associated with Runcorn. This fascinating and yet unseen archive he has generously donated to the Society.
When the Halton Heritage Partnership was first formed, Alex was there as our representative from the beginning, and a decade later we now have a fast growing working relationship with its partners, contributing to many joint projects, and making some really good friends along the way. Alex spent countless hours on research and encouraged others to do the same, if only to record the history of their families and the Runcorn industries with which they were associated. He turned his research into a permanent record with articles in the Society’s journals Runcova Volume 1 and 2, and the publishing of six local history books including the seminal record of all the Public Houses in Runcorn and the surrounding locality. Alex’s legacy lives on in: