Birth­day bash for dance fan Mary, 100

Macclesfield Express - - NEWS - DANIELLE ROPER danielle.roper@men-news.co.uk @Rop­er­Danielle

ABALLROOM danc­ing diva who only stopped danc­ing in her nineties has cel­e­brated her 100th birth­day.

But for Mary Hod­son, her spe­cial day marks both a happy and sad event, as it was on her birth­day 24 years ago that her hus­band Nor­man died.

Mary, who lived on Hawthorn Way in Mac­cles­field be­fore mov­ing into residential care, was an only child, born in north Manch­ester.

Af­ter mar­ry­ing Nor­man, a keen ta­ble ten­nis player who ran the ta­ble ten­nis tour­na­ments at the Drill Hall on Bridge Street, the cou­ple went on to have six chil­dren – in­clud­ing Kate, He­len, Nor­man, John, Alan and Ruth. John sadly died at just three days old and Alan and Ruth, died in adult­hood.

Four gen­er­a­tions of her fam­ily joined in the cel­e­bra­tions at Clay­ton Manor in Con­gle­ton where she now lives, in­clud­ing some of her nine grand­chil­dren and five great grand­chil­dren.

Her daugh­ter Kate Read, 70, said: “She was al­ways a bit of a char­ac­ter, a peo­ple per­son.

“She has al­ways en­joyed a bit of flirt­ing as well. She loved her danc­ing and she loved hav­ing a big fam­ily, even though she al­ways said she never planned to have a big one.

“She was al­ways very well-liked by ev­ery­one.”

Mary at­tended Bai­leys Dance School on Ch­ester­gate, and Mykita Dance School on Snape Road, fol­low­ing in the mu­si­cal foot­steps of her fa­ther, Charles Ap­pleby, who was the or­gan­ist at Mac­cles­field Town Mis­sion.

When she wasn’t danc­ing, she worked at Col­liers on Ed­ward Street in the foundry as well as at ICI in Hurds­field where she spent 15 years run­ning the laun­dry and re­pair­ing clothes.

On top of all this, she took in an evac­uee dur­ing the war, some­thing Kate said she re­ally en­joyed do­ing. Kate said: “Mum be­lieves danc­ing and gar- den­ing is the se­cret to her long life as they’ve al­ways kept her fit.

“She only stopped danc­ing when she was 93.

“She loved play­ing the pi­ano and key­board too and there was al­ways mu­sic in the hh house.” ”

She added: “Mum has al­ways been very in­de­pen­dent and told my son Tom she was ‘quite ca­pa­ble’ of cut­ting her hedge her­self when he tried to hl help her.h SheSh still ill h has a lively mind now and loves her food and drink.”

Grand­son Tom Read added: “She even had a cheeky glass of prosecco at the party.”

●● Mary Hod­son with daugh­ters He­len Ec­cle­ston and Kate Read, grand­sons Wil­liam Read and Tom Read and great grand­sons Liam Read and Jimmy Read. Inset: With daugh­ter Kate and friends Sue Brash and Ellen Wood­ward

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