(Olive) Mary Schofield
Auntie Mary was a treasure. She had two elder, twin, step-brothers, Philip and Frank. Her Mother was Florence. She was educated at West Leeds High School, but did not go on to University. Her life was devoted to her parents, and she remained single to look after them as they got older. Apparently she had at least one opportunity to get married but turned away from it because of her sense of responsibility.
She was a nature-lover and a gardener par excellence. She was particularly fond of watching birds and would always comment on the birds that were around her garden at whatever time of year it was. She had several bird paintings and statuettes including a very good statuette of a kingfisher that has pride of place in my front room.
During the war, 1939-1945, she became a "Land Army Girl" and wrote a book on her experiences. The whole text is available here. It is quite long, but it is an excellent piece of writing and describes life on a small farm during the early 1940's.
She was a poetess and lyricist as well as an authoress. John published her poems in a booket form which is scanned in here. Margaret scanned in her hymns here.
After her parents died she moved into a smaller bungalow on Water Lane. She worked for Dr. Joyce Curtis to run her clinic, first on the Ring Road and later in her parent's house on Butt Lane which Joyce bought from her to convert into a clinic.
We have a recording of her from 1981 here . HOLD DOWN the Control key as you click the link. Hint - you also need a player plug-in such as Quick-Time and may have to tell the security system that it is OK to use it. Mary has just been visited by her brother Philip and his wife Maud. There was an unidentified flowering bush in the front yard and Mary is amazed that Philip was able to identify it as an Amelanchier. A transcript of the recording follows:
Mary and Philip have just left. I don't know where Philip got Amelanchier from, (i.e. how he knew the name Amelanchier) but he's quite correct and it is in full bloom at the moment in the front garden backing on to the privet hedge.
Mary was born March 31st, 1917 and died in 1998. She suffered from back problems in her later life due to the work she did as a Land Army Girl, and had a colostomy bag.
Peter's memories: Auntie Mary was a background figure to me when her parents were alive. After they died she blossomed into a person who really enjoyed the life she had created for herself. She had quite a number of friends including Doctor Joyce; Joyce Newsum, her cousin, whose mother raised Philip for three years; and Susan Marshall-Yockney who was a nature lover also, and an accomplished water-colour painter (see her painting of Bolton Abbey that hangs on my wall).
The bungalow had a small porch and a small back garden that were filled with flowers. It backed up to a "Council Estate" which is subsidized housing. Mary was afraid of the youths that lived there and got a dog. Not a real dog - just a box that barked when she pressed a button. She very seriously explained how she was ready to shout "Down, Rover!" as she pressed the button if she heard any weird noises. Her explanations and seriousness were unintentionally hilarious - I have rarely laughed as much as during the explanation - you had to have been there. However! there was a break-in and two men forced open the door to the porch and the door to the kitchen - only one door stood between Mary and disaster. Rover saved the day and the men fled.
In her last few months of life she became rather paranoid, and when clearing out the house after her death we came across several packets of bank-notes taped to the underside of different drawers.
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