Glynis always talked fondly of her years growing up and of her close relationship with her mother Mary, her brothers David and Steven and her sister Marilyn. Glynis was devastated when her father died when she was 11. She had good memories of going to Monmouth in Wales, her father’s birthplace, for a time after his death to stay with her Aunty Dorothy and Uncle Leslie. Recently we visited the area together so that she could show me the house where she stayed and the places she visited.
In her mid to late 20’s Glynis was diagnosed with Crohn's disease, the same illness that took her father away from her. She had part of her bowel removed and had to spend the rest of her life wearing a colostomy bag, which she did with great dignity and courage. Most of her friends and the people she came into contact with never knew. Glynis was always grateful to her family, especially her mother, who helped her through the long road to recovery by helping to care for her sons Steven and Mark. At the time Glynis was a single parent as her previous marriage had broken down.
Glynis and I married on 19th April 1980 and our wedding was attended by the Mayor of Whitby. Our wedding night at home even made the local newspapers when we had to rush out of bed to go to the aid of a motor cyclist who had crashed outside our house in Helredale Road.
The early years of our marriage were spent in Whitby where our daughter Kelly was born. Glynis at that time had problems with her stoma prolapsing and was regularly taken into Scarborough Hospital to have it put right.
In 1984 the cost of me having to travel into Redcar each day to work mean’t that Glynis had to take the heart wrenching decision to move to Redcar and leave behind her Mother, who had been such a help to her.
Shortly after moving to Redcar in May 1984, Glynis was taken to what was then called South Tees Hospital and a surgeon there put right her stoma. It was not to trouble her again until September last year when she was admitted for the first of a number of stays, in James Cook Hospital and The Friarage at Northallerton, spread over the past 14 months.
Over our 32 years of marriage we had our ups and downs like most people. Glynis was particularly depressed for a period after her mother died. Glynis was a loving and lovely person. Anyone who telephoned the house, knocked on the door or spoke to her in the street would testify to this.
We did everything together. Glynis joined in with me in the Liberals and later the Liberal Democrats, in the Yorkshire Ridings Society, even going fishing and watching football with me.
She looked forward to our holidays abroad and especially enjoyed those where we drove through the Alps or were just touring with the little caravan we used to own. Glynis also loved her occasional all inclusive holidays, particularly in Greece and the Greek islands, where it was warm. She was a warm hearted person who loved sunshine.
For some years, whilst working freelance for DJ Tucker Ltd at Marske, my job took me all over the north-east, visiting customers in their homes to give quotations and Glynis used to travel with me, with our enormous flask of tea. I will never forget the pleasure we both got from doing that together out in the countryside and from occasionally seeing wild birds like buzzards and red kites.
In recent years, during the football season, we would repeat these trips in the Yorkshire Dales every Saturday afternoon, so I could listen to Leeds United games on the radio, whilst we both enjoyed the countryside. The area around Pateley Bridge was our favourite area. I shall miss those trips because it would never be the same without Glynis.
Right from our early years, whilst I was out working, Glynis would be delivering leaflets and typing casework letters, helping me to get elected as a Councillor, both in Whitby and again within a year of moving to Redcar. Without her hard work it would never have happened. Glynis would lead the whole family out delivering leaflets, not just for ourselves but for colleagues all over the region. Later, in May 1999, Glynis was elected alongside me for Newcomen Ward on Redcar and Cleveland Council and we have stayed in office together ever since.
Glynis was the person people came to for help with their housing problems or to sort out problems with passport or driving licence applications. Highlights of our time together were our visit to a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in 1986, her period as deputy Mayoress for her friend Councillor Mary Ovens. Glynis enjoyed the Licensing Committee, which she chaired for some years and was proud recently to serve as a member of Cleveland Fire Authority and on the Board of Coast and Country Housing. In May 2010 we achieved the ultimate reward for all our work over the years in Redcar when together we helped Ian Swales become MP for Redcar.
In 1996 we both got involved with the Yorkshire Ridings Society, campaigning for recognition of our status as part of Yorkshire for all cultural, ceremonial and sporting purposes. Through this Glynis and I made lots of new friends and enjoyed our regular trips to York and Saddleworth. Glynis set up YRS Products and has sold, by mail order, hundreds of Yorkshire flags, which have been sent out all over the world. As a result she has raised hundreds of pounds for the Ridings Society.
Glynis went with me fishing one day, 15 years ago, and found she was good at it. We spent many happy days together fishing on some of the best waters in the country. Nearly always Glynis caught bigger fish or more of them than me but would get cross if I mealy hinted at competition. She was proud of her garden pond that she nurtured fish in. Many scraggy little goldfish, broughtfrom fairs by her grandchildren were turned into one and a half pound whoppers by Glynis. She was devastated when we had to give her fish away when we moved house last year.
Having grandchildren also brought happy times for Glynis. Emma, Matthew, Charlotte, Daniel and Jessica brought sunshine into our lives and we have spent so many happy times with them. Charlotte, in particular, has been a daily visitor to her nana and will have many special memories of their times together, that I hope will last the rest of her life. Glynis also has another grandchild Stacey, who she has sadly rarely seen.
Glynis loved her family and we all loved her. She warmly welcomed into the family our daughter-in-law Debbie and was especially grateful to our son-in-law Ashley who was a most useful help to her on many occasions. Glynis also enjoyed a happy relationship with my mother and father, Barbara and Stanley, whom she called mum and dad. We will all miss her and never forget her love for us all.
She loved her garden. At our previous house this needed a lot of work to keep it tidy and Glynis did it all her self, very rarely insisting that I should help. She knew the names of all the flowers and all the plants and had begun discussing her plans for her much easier to manage garden in our new home. She wanted an apple tree and a pear tree in planters and they will come eventually for her.
The new house has most of the things she likes but has never demanded. Glynis liked simple things and was never extravagant. She always put her family first and was always doing things for us all. This is what she was doing the weekend that she passed away. She gave her grandchildren and me a weekend together to remember. It was as if she knew she was going to leave us that Sunday evening and wanted us to have a happy time before she passed away.
When any of us annoyed Glynis by being untidy, or by trampling over her light coloured carpets in outside shoes, a note would appear scribbled on the back on an envelope (underlined twice to indicate “or else”), instructing us what to do. The last of these appeared at the bonfire night party she organised, the night before she died. Attached to the side door it read: “No shoes beyond this point.” We have now framed this note and will keep it where she put it and hope we can abide by it.