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Roberts, Elizabeth (Bessie)

Elizabeth or Bessie as she was known, was born on the 27th March 1918 at her Grandma's house on Manchester Road Lostock Gralam, due to her dad still being in the army. When Dad came out of the army they managed to find a house in Boundary Street, also in Lostock Gralam. This was the Family home where she was joined by brother Cecil in 1920. The two of them were inseparable, they were later joined in 1922 by Lavinia or “Vinie”, Eddie in 1928 and Terry in 1934. Bessie of course being the eldest was always in charge. This remained in force until Vinie started to grow up when she wanted to take charge. This left Cecil as Piggy in the middle, which he solved by joining the Scouts. Bessie loved her name Elizabeth, but hated to be called Liz or Lizzy, so her family name remained as Bessie or Bess and Elizabeth was her posh name for all important occasions and documents. She attended the Infant and Junior schools in Lostock Gralam. In 1928 she won a scholarship to Altrincham Girls Grammar School, travelling by train from Lostock Gralam Station and later on became the train Prefect. In 1935 the family went to live in Griffiths Road. When she left school she went to work at the Conservative Office in Witton Street and while she was there enrolled at the Verdin Technical College to take a commercial course which included shorthand and typing. After passing these exams she went to work for I.C.I. in the accounts Department at Winnington. It was also at this time she started to take a keen interest in the Church. The Vicar persuaded her to take up Sunday School teaching, which she did under the guidance of the teachers already doing the job. She became a very active member of the Youth Fellowship. In 1938 due to the headmaster Mr Harris buying his own house, the School House became vacant and the family were offered the chance to move in. Bessie was elected to the Parochial Church Council and after a short time was elected secretary. She helped her Mum to clean the church but jibbed at helping dad with the church heating. Bessie wanted to learn more and took advantage of a scheme run by the diocese of Chester where during the summer recess they took over a public school, usually in North Wales and taught young people to become youth leaders or Sunday school teachers, trained by full time staff employed by the diocese The training was for a week, with the mornings taken over by study and the rest of the time was for more leisure activities, such as swimming, tennis, cricket, table tennis, drama and for the fitter members hiking. Bessie went to give it a try, and became very enthusiastic, so much so that she joined them every year and eventually went to help with the more mundane tasks of cleaning and cooking as well as organising some of the activities. In 1939 the war came and Bessie still went to work at Winnington by bus. Cecil was called up and Vinie joined the W.A.A.F. which left just Dad, Mum, Bessie, Eddie and Terry at home. Bessie, as secretary of the P.C.C. and the Youth club, was kept busy during her spare time of organising dances and social events all to help the war effort. Just after Dunkerque for example, both Marbury and Wincham Halls were full to over flowing with troops and the village set about trying to find homes for them to relax into during the evenings. In 1944/45, because she lived so near, Bessie was asked to move to the Etheline works. This factory was administered at the time by I.C.I. It later became the Associated Etheline and later the Associated Octel Co Ltd, which companies she joined when they took over. Brother Cecil joined her in 1950 when he returned from Belgium. After Dad died in 1957 the family moved to Knutsford and she took a job with the N.H.S at Cranford Hospital, where she stayed until she retired . She carried on more or less in Knutsford parish just as she had in Lostock. She joined the P.C.C. the Sunday schools, and the Mothers Union with an extra edition of the choir. After Mothers death in 1979, she moved with Terry into Lilac Avenue and later to a Flat in Warren Close. She eventually moved to Daneside Court in Northwich and remained there for five years until her death. The service was held at Lostock Gralam Church on Friday 17th March, conducted by Rev Martyn Cripps and was followed by interment in the family grave in the churchyard. As well as floral tributes, donations were received for Daneside Court Comforts fund.

Roberts Elizabeth (Bessie)

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