My Grandma was a gold medal-winning gymnast - not an Olympian, but nevertheless a champion of Marsh Gym in Leigh, Lancashire, and holder of the George Holden Cup. She worked in the cotton mills of the 1930s, and was whisked off her feet at the top of Blackpool Tower by Cyril Alder, my Grandad, who promised her the moon.
Marian was beautiful. She was an actress and a dancer in Leigh Amateur Dramatics. She married Cyril in 1941 and spent the next 40 years sharing his early mornings opening up the family bakery, delivering pies, pasties and barm cakes, as well as keeping house, making clothes, doing embroidery, and crocheting.
Her daughter Christine was born in October 1943, while Cyril was serving in Africa during the war. Grandad wrote home about the delicious fruit they were getting to eat, whilst worrying about what kind of rationing his wife and daughter were having to endure.
Cyril died in 1985 at the age of 65. Marian never fully recovered from her own grief, and continued to help friends and relatives of her husband as long as she could.
Marian gradually lost her own health and mobility through a series of aneurisms. Christine looked after her mother full time until 2002, when Marian became a resident of High Peak Nursing Home in Leigh.
Marian was buried on Thursday 28th August alongside her husband in Leigh Cemetery. Reunited at last, Cyril will finally be able to give her the moon.
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