Birthday bash for dance fan Mary, 100
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