Death is nothing at all, I have only slipped away into another room. Whatever we were to each other we shall remain. Call me Mum or Margaret, laugh as we always laughed at the times we shared and the memories that we made. They will live on forever. Pray, smile, think of me and pray for me. Please don’t let me be out of mind because I am out of sight. I am waiting for you, just around the corner – All is well – You’ll Never Walk Alone.
Mum was a Liverpool lass, born Margaret Derrig in Rock Ferry, on 14 June, 1932. She was the youngest of 5 children, growing up with two brothers and two sisters, all of whom have sadly passed away. Mum went to Sacred Heart School before getting a job in civil service with the Ministry of Transport in the famous Liver Buildings Liverpool, overlooking her faithful River Mersey. It was here that she met our Dad, her beloved Tony, who was her boss’s chauffeur. They courted on the Mersey Ferry. The courtship was interrupted after a cycling holiday in Wales, when she fell ill and was eventually diagnosed with TB. She experienced her first period of social isolation, consigned to a sanatorium for 18 months, where she met her life-long friend, Bette. Tony fetched her home after 2 Christmases away and they were married in Rock Ferry, Wirral in October 1954. In 1956 and 1958, Michael and Peter were born and then, in 1968, Frank became the final addition to the Quinn household. Our family moved to Crewe in the late 60’s with Tony starting a new career with British Railways, and Mum resuming her friendship with Bette and husband, Reg Stoneley. After renting upstairs accommodations in Rolls Avenue, we purchased the family home, 13 Flixton Drive, Wistaston. It was a happy home, with holidays at Butlin’s with the Stoneley’s, and their twin girls Diane and Annmarie, and days out on the train to Rhyl, Blackpool and of course Liverpool. Mum had a passion for sport, when she was younger, she was a keen cyclist and then, in later years, swimming, where she became Chairman of Crewe Flyers and a Northern Counties swimming official. She would also be seen on the touchline loudly encouraging the various football teams over the years. Her presence, wit and banter were always something to behold, and she proudly watched on as her son, Frank, reached Great Britain status in his sporting endeavours.
Our family grew up on a limited budget, but we were always well fed and dressed, even if Mums’ personal tastes were a touch on the lively side. When Dad retired, Mum took over the role of provider and became a care worker at the Manor Way Care home. Working nights, she was a trailblazer in the care system that we recognise nowadays, and who has looked after Mum so well in her final years. Mum knew more than her fair share of tragedy, losing her father when she was 7 years old, losing her son Peter aged 21 in 1980, and her husband Tony aged 76 in 1993. But her faith in God somehow gave her the strength not only to go on but to live life to its fullest. Mum was a unique character, one of a kind. She travelled far and wide, across North America, Asia and throughout Europe in later years. But Crewe was her home, and Liverpool was her heart.
Margaret made an impression on everyone she met. If you could win her over then you were in for one heck of an entertaining journey. Mum was a character and it is testament to her nature that she has formed so many long-lasting friendships over the years.
We remember Christmases together. Going to Church, trekking down Joey the Swan for Midnight Mass, then all the chaos in the kitchen as Christmas dinner was prepared, then Dad staring in disbelief as we wolfed down all before us, pausing only to find out who had the sixpence coin in the Christmas pudding. The sense of being part of a family together and just living for that moment, before a car journey to distant relations on Boxing Day, is one everlasting memory.
Mum had good health right up to her late 70’s. We as a family have been lucky to have wonderful carers and close family looking after her in her last years. Mayfield House, and thereafter Hollymere House are truly wonderful places where Mum was allowed and encouraged to be Mum. And even in this final experience of social isolation for her, we will be forever grateful to the carers who enabled us to be close with her in her final days.
It’s with sadness that we have to let our Mum go. She leaves behind 4 grandchildren to Frank and Debbie; Jenny, Isaac, Oliver and William. They all have fond memories of the Nana who was fun-loving and so often over-adventurous. Trampolining in your mid-70’s is definitely not recommended! Her son, Michael, wife, Karen and extended family in the US and the UK, also treasure the wonderful memories shared. We as a family will draw closure and comfort from her painless passing and as we let her go to be with Dad we say: Thank you for being our Mum and “Good Night, God Bless, See You in The Morning”