16th April 1934 - 3rd January 2021
Many will remember Margaret in our village shops and around the village with great fondness. The following obituary was written by Jane Colville and was originally intended for publication in News from the Pews but, due to its length and not wanting to shorten it, it is reproduced in full here.
Margaret was born in Hope in North Wales but lived all her childhood in Oscroft outside Tarvin with her younger brother John [known as Peter] and her Mother and Father.
She attended Tarvin village school and won a scholarship to the City High School in Chester. She was a member of the Girls Friendship Society and sang in their choir. The choir travelled to London as part of a national competition and came second. Margaret on leaving school started working at a local bakery known as Chestertons and based in Ashton Hayes village. She would cycle there every day and was a familiar sight travelling back and to from home to work. She trained whilst there as a confectioner and took charge of decorating all their speciality cakes.
Margaret married Ron who was a builder and they lived next door to Chestertons in the centre of Ashton Hayes. When the bakery closed as a business and reopened as a general stores she worked there until it finally closed in the 1980S. She then worked in another general stores in the village before finally moving to work alongside Helen in the Ashton Hayes Post Office for several years. Helen remembers Margaret as being a rock to her and her family when they were having hard times.
Margaret and Ron had a son, Keith who they were immensely proud of who went to the Kings School in Chester and from there to Jesus College at Cambridge University reading law. He became a lecturer at Reading University and wrote and had published a book. He was a fine cricketer and hockey player, representing the school and local village teams. Keith married but sadly passed away at the age of 25 years of leukaemia. This was not the only tragedy in Margaret`s life. Before Keith passed away Ron died very suddenly and unexpectedly aged only 49. This came as shocking news for Margaret and Keith and the rest of the family and indeed the whole village.
Margaret continued to live in Ashton Hayes and got involved in all that was going on in the community. Margaret had many friends and was well respected in the village.
She was a committed member of the Methodist Church, regularly attending both Kelsall and Ashton Churches. She got involved in the various ecumenical services and events such as lent lunches that were being organised and was usually to be found opening up and on the door welcoming those who came to the small Ashton Church and making them feel at home. Nothing sent her into a spin and she was very well able to cope in a crisis.
Margaret was also involved in the WRVS and other local clubs including Timebank. If ever a trip outside of the village was being planned Margaret would be one of the first to sign up and indeed to help with the arrangements.
People remember Margaret as a very kind and gentle person, always willing to help others in whatever way she could. Alison who was her next-door neighbour for several years remembers when her sons were very young, coming to rely on Margaret to sit for them and watch over them whilst she went to pick another one up from the school or she had to pop to the shop. One of her sons she recalls had real problems with pronouncing her name so she became “maggot” to him and Margaret didn`t mind one little bit!
Margaret was not given to complaining about her life despite the sadness that was such a part of it and she is remembered by those locally who knew her as a lovely woman who had time for others, was welcoming and helpful and very calm and patient.
Margaret moved to live in Hill Crest Residential Home in 2013 and settled in well, remaining there until she passed away this month. She was cared for well there and the staff built up a good relationship with her in those last years and when Margaret`s health was failing they were keen to continue to support her there. Her family and friends are grateful to them for the care and attention they gave her.