Tributes to luch-loved grandma

Mabel Alker with Jeff Moore, Chief Executive of the Chorley and South Ribble NHS Trust
Mabel Alker with Jeff Moore, Chief Executive of the Chorley and South Ribble NHS Trust

A much-loved grandma who worked for 30 years at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital has died.

Mabel Alker, who was 91 and lived in Conway Close, Euxton, enjoyed a day out with her grandson in Leyland’s Worden Park a week before she passed away.

Now, her close friend of many years, who worked with Mabel in the hospital shop, has described her as “a friend to everyone.”

Barbara Woodcock said: “Mabel started working at the hospital in 1981 on the trolley duty, making teas from flasks.

“She then moved into the shop and worked there until she was 90, in 2011.

“She was there for 30 years and everyone said that Mabel was the hospital shop.

“She was there morning, noon, and night, and was a friend to everyone.”

Mum-of-two Mabel, who loved to travel, had told her daughter Lynn and son Tony that one of her favourite memories was of a nine-week trip she took, by herself, to South Africa in 1982.

She was visiting friends, and went to the Kruger National Park, the wine and flower route to Cape Town, a trip to Durban and to Table Mountain.

Mabel Harvey was born at home in Wigan Lane, Coppull, in 1921, and attended St Paul’s School on Railway Road, Adlington.

She got her first job aged 15 in the typing pool at the rubber factory in Leyland, and later worked as a secretary for Harold Sellers, an electrician on Market Street in Chorley.

The outbreak of war found her working in the Borough Engineers office in the Town Hall.

In her youth she loved dancing and playing tennis, and later in life became involved in CADOS at Chorley Little Theatre.

The family moved to Scotland for two years in 1964, but returned to Chorley in 1966, where Mabel did temporary secretarial work for Leonard Fairclough in Adlington.

After she retired, Mabel volunteered in the hospital shop, and also spent a lot of time in her garden, which she likened to ‘painting the Forth Bridge’.

She was due to celebrate her birthday next month, and had planned a meal out with friends.