Former Mayoress and teacher, Mildred Watson

Mrs Mildred Watson a former Mayoress of Todmorden and teacher at National School for many years who has died at the age of 98.
Mrs Mildred Watson a former Mayoress of Todmorden and teacher at National School for many years who has died at the age of 98.

Mrs Mildred Watson, a former Mayoress of Todmorden and teacher at Todmorden C of E (National) School for many years, died recently at the age of 98.

Her long life spanned two world wars in which both her father and husband had served.

She was born in Padiham on September 28, 1915, where her father had a business making clogs for local millworkers. She recalled with disdain having to work in the shop on a Saturday whilst her classmates pursued other more entertaining activities.

Mrs Warson attended Burnley High School and progressed to Teacher Training College at Bangor in North Wales. Her first teaching post was at Wood Top Junior School in Burnley and she also taught at Castle Hill School in Todmorden during her early days.

In her youth Mrs Watson enjoyed an active social life playing tennis with friends and dancing in various ballrooms in Burnley. It was a special treat to take the train to Blackpool on a Saturday evening for a night`s dancing in the Tower Ballroom.

On September 2, 1939 (the day before the outbreak of war) she married Alan Watson, whom she met whilst travelling on the school bus. Unfortunately married life was interrupted when Mr Watson was drafted into the army and sent to North Africa.

He was injured whilst serving in the Western Desert and had to retire from military duties, however Mrs Watson joined him in the Middle East where they both taught children of service personal in British Council Schools in Jerusalem.

In 1946 she returned to England and the couple settled in Stoney Royd Lane, Todmorden, where they received welcome yet unexpected news that in ten days time twins were on the way!

After a few hectic but rewarding years Mrs Watson returned to the classroom at National School where she enjoyed many happy years until her retirement in 1977. In 1959/60 Mrs Watson was Mayoress of Todmorden a duty which she carried out with pride. She attended numerous ceremonies throughout Yorkshire, opened Bazaars locally and was thrilled to receive an invitation to a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.

As amember of Todmorden Golf Club she was Lady Captain in the 1970s. She thoroughly enjoyed nine holes of golf on Ladies’ Day, which was followed by tea and liqueurs in the club house and then an evening of bridge.

Mrs Watson enjoyed a long active life and in her 98 years she rarely had a day’s illness.

She will be sadly missed by her family, daughters Barbara and Joan, grandchildren Martin, Stephen and Katherine and also great grandson Alexander. She had many fond memories of kind neighbours, good friends and former pupils.