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Born: Margaret Fyfe: 1936 - 2008 Stalybridge, Manchester

A guid day at the clubI was born in Sidebottom Street in Stalybridge, Greater Manchester. It had two bedrooms, and it was a two up and two down. I lived with my mum, dad, and my brother Roland. My granny also lived with us for a while. My dad went to the army and he was posted to the Sudan. I didn’t see him for five years. During the war my mum worked as a housekeeper in a big house. In 1948 we moved to a bigger house, it was a bus ride away from our old house.

I went to New Saint Georges Primary School, then onto Old Saint Georges. We used to play tig in the playground. I hated Mr. Longworth, he hit me and hurt my eye. He used to hit people with the flat of his hand. History and cookery were my favorite subjects. We took our gas masks to school during the war, and a night bag with pajamas, knickers and socks. We kept them with us all the time in case we needed to stay in school. I left school when I was 15 and worked in the mill. I was a winder. I twirled the thread on the bobbing. We got paid different wages every week as the work was piecemealBy a small amount at a time; in stages.

I went to the Mechanic’s institute, they had dances every Saturday. We had sandwiches, and drinks of juice and tea there. All my friends met up there and we went regularly. We did old time dancing with a modern sequence. I met my husband at the Mechanic’s institute. He asked me for a dance so I danced with him, and then I danced with him again, and again. He took me for the last dance and said now I’ve got to take you home! I said he didn’t have to if he didn’t want to. I met John Corlett when I was about 18. We got married on the 30th of June 1956, he was 24 and I was 20. He was a sheet metal worker who worked for his dad. We lived at 231 Huddersfield Road. My late son was born in 1958, and we had our daughter Hazel on the 22nd January 1964. It was hard having the kids. They were born at home. We had a midwife, Nurse Sour butt. I worked as a cleaner when I had Tony and Hazel.

Still smiling through all the hardshipI moved to Blackpool to live with my parents after John and I separated. I got no money from him, so I needed to work in a guest house. I met my second husband who was in the RAF in Brize Norton Oxford. We lived in a caravan down there. He said he was going to Scotland when he got demobbed, and asked me to go with him. I married Harold, a park Patrol Officer in 1977, at the Haymarket Registry office. When we moved to Scotland we stayed in Muirhouse in Edinburgh. I was still a cleaner and I worked in the laundry at the Carlton Hotel with Hazel at the weekends. Harold had an affair, and I was left on my own. I moved to Newtongrange, and then I moved to Mayfield to live with Hazel, then onto Dalkeith.

I became a granny to George in 1982, then Margaret, who was named after me, in 1987, and then again in 1994 when Hazel had twins. I’m now a great granny to three children, Gillian, Jordan and Tony.

I’ve been in Whitehill Lodge for 2 years. My life isn’t as happy as it used to be. I’ve lost lots of my family, including my son who died suddenly. It hit the whole family really hard.




Sadly Margaret passed away in November 2008


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Adapted by Iain Tait