Tributes to WI stalwart

Mrs Violet Wood
Mrs Violet Wood

DEVOTED wife, mother and grandmother, Mrs Violet Wood, has died aged 86.

Born in Workington, Cumbria, in 1925, Violet moved to Clitheroe with her parents when she was three years old. Living at Waddington from the age of eight until she was 18, she was very involved in the close village community and was a member of the St Helen’s Church choir.

In 1943, she was called up to work in Preston as a welder on Halifax Bombers, something which she remained very proud of and was delighted when her grand-daughter Pauline took her to see an actual Halifax at an air museum near York in 2003, having only ever seen the small pieces that she had welded.

Near the end of the war, ill health forced her to leave Preston and she finished her war work at Waddow Hall, Waddington, when it was an isolation hospital for evacuee children. She remained there for three years once the hall had returned to the Guiding Association. She was awarded the Battle of Britain medal for her work on Preston Free Buffet for the Forces on Preston Station.

In 1948, she married the love of her life, Mr Thomas Edward Wood, at St Andrew’s Church, Slaidburn. Most of their married life was spent at Hareden Intake in the Trough of Bowland where her husband was head water bailiff for the North West Water Board. Violet took great delight in having a car ride to Jubilee Tower to see the views of Morecambe Bay and the Cumbrian hills.

The Women’s Institute was another important part of her life, being press officer for several local papers and also president for four years at Dunsop Bridge.

When Thomas retired in 1981, the couple moved into Clitheroe where Violet joined Waddington WI, resuming her role as press officer until poor eyesight meant she had to retire.

A major highlight in Violet and Tommy’s, as she always affectionately called him, 62 year marriage, was the world cruise on the PO Canberra, that they went on to celebrate their ruby anniversary. She loved the warm welcome they received in Hawaii and enjoyed dressing up for the captain’s dinners.

Emerald, golden and diamond wedding anniversaries were celebrated more locally with family get-togethers with her daughters Jean and Eileen, son-in-law Peter, and beloved grand-daughters Pauline and Catherine. She recently became a great-grandmother to Catherine’s daughter Scarlett and took great delight in seeing Pauline get married last June. It was easy to see the instant bond made between Violet and new grandson-in-law Rowan, as her face lit up whenever he was around, giving her some comfort from the increasing pain she felt in her last few years.

Following recent health deterioration, Violet passed away peacefully in her sleep at the Royal Blackburn Hospital.