Tributes to inspirational Mandy

The late Mandy Wilson.
The late Mandy Wilson.
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Hundreds attended the funeral of a Clitheroe charity stalwart who was a loyal supporter and volunteer for Rosemere Cancer Foundation.

Mandy Wilson, who has worked tirelessly to help those with cancer whether through taking part in the Race for Life, volunteering and raising funds for Rosemere Cancer Foundation or just sitting with someone who had the disease, lost her own battle with cancer earlier this month.

Someone who had experienced the full horror of the disease herself, Mandy, who lived in Henthorn with her husband Roger, was first diagnosed with cancer eight years ago, but battled the disease to be given the all clear. However, sadly, at the start of this year, Mandy was told she once again had cancer and that it was terminal.

Looking back at her life, Mandy’s husband Roger described his wife as a “fantastic character”.

Born in Clitheroe in 1950, in the early days of Mandy’s life she slept in a drawer whilst her parents – Jack and Florence Webster – pondered on a name to give her. Thankfully help with this matter was at hand, as luckily, in Clitheroe’s old King Lane cinema, the 1935 black and white film “The 39 Steps” was doing the rounds. This gave Mandy’s parents “instant inspiration” to give Mandy the actual name of Madeleine Carroll after the actress in the film.

However, Mandy’s names “Madaline” and “Carol” were spelt differently to the film star’s and, on growing up, “Mada-line” really did not like the name that she had been given and eventually she asked people to just call her “Mandy”.

As a child, although Mandy very much loved her parents, she did have “slight issues” with the fact that her two older twin sisters – Cynthia and Barbra – provided her with an endless supply of their old “hand me down” clothes to wear. Mandy was often “gifted” two of everything, but very seldom something new!

Mandy, however, somewhat got her own back on her sisters by chasing them around with severed hens feet that could often be found lying around as her dad was a butcher and a slaughter man.

Mandy’s husband Roger said: “These family stories, passed down in fun, have become delightful memories of Mandy’s early years, things that set in motion the development of a fantastic character and a delightfully strong willed person – that person is and will always be my wife and my love Mandy.”

When Mandy was at Ribblesdale High School her parents took over The Brown Cow pub in Clitheroe and the family went to live there giving the teenager unbeatable “street cred”.

Mandy went on to have three daughters Diane, Gillian and Joanne, before she met her husband Roger, who had a son Darran, at the Clitheroe single parent group “Gingerbread”.

They tied the knot in December 1987 and went on to enjoy a very happy marriage full of laughter and fun.

Mandy subsequently worked as a day care centre manager locally. A list maker, Mandy loved to organise things, but most of all she loved caring for people and laughing at life with them.

Mandy was so successful in this role that she received letters of congratulations from Prime Ministers for twice achieving Charter Mark awards.

A grandmother to eight and a great-grandmother of three, Mandy was the “Nana” that solved their problems, repaired their clothes and helped them in baking and crafts. She watched them sing and dance, and do gymnastics. She was so very proud of them all.

An active member of the Ribble Valley “Breast Friends” group, it was there that Mandy learnt Tai Chi and she went on to join millions of others on “World Tai Chi Day” in Manchester. She was also a keen gardening club member and loved dancing with friends in The Grand in Clitheroe as a member of Let's Dance - Ribble Valley. A lasting memory will be of Mandy and Roger performing the “Last Waltz” in Accrington Town Hall ballroom.

Just 12 hours before her death, Mandy left her family home giving everyone en route a smile and a “Royal wave”. At her funeral, Mandy received a standing ovation, while outside, people clapped as she departed down Church Brow.