Amazing to the very end

Ellen with her granddaughters
Ellen with her granddaughters

“SHE was a very determined and strong-willed - she was an amazing woman, really.”

These are the poignant words of Karen Duckworth paying tribute to her grandmother Ellen Chadwick - believed to be St Helens’ oldest woman - who has died aged 107.

Ellen Chadwick with husband Ernest

Ellen Chadwick with husband Ernest

Mrs Chadwick passed away following a brief illness at Mayfield Nursing Homes in Eccleston Park.

Her family have today paid tribute to an “amazing” woman who remains active and independent late into her life.

“She had a hard life early on but it was a very happy life,” said her granddaughter Karen, “she was a very sociable person and was genuinely interested in the people around her.”

Born in Chadderton near Oldham in 1904, she started work in a factory aged 11 to help supplement her family’s modest household income.

On a company trip to Blackpool she met her future husband, Ernest, who lived in St Helens.

The pair’s romance quickly bloomed, with Ernest regularly making the 34 mile journey from St Helens to Chadderton on a push bike.

After their marriage, they settled in St Helens where he converted from Catholicism to worship alongside his wife at the CoE St Luke’s Church in Eccleston.

A regular churchgoer, she was a member of St Luke’s for 80 years, and was regarded as “quite a character” by her loving family.

Mrs Duckworth added: “Not long after her 100th she set fire to an item of clothing she was drying in front of the fire.

“It set off a smoke alarm which was linked to a care line. She just took the clothes off the clothes horse and put it in the sink, burning her arm.

“But because of the alarm, she couldn’t her the care people buzzing through to ask if she was alright.

“The next thing she knows, six burly firefighters are bursting in, which she absolutely loved.

Mrs Chadwick lived at her home in Gladstone Street, Eccleston, until she was 105 when she had to move into a care home. She died on Valentine’s Day after developing bronco-pneumonia.

Mrs Duckwork went on: “We’re saying that she gone to be with her Ernest. She knew hard times; they weren’t ones to get into debt, they scrimped and saved but they were happy.”

Mrs Chadwick leaves a son, two granddaughters and three great-grandchildren.

Her funeral takes place starts at 9.15am on February 24 at St Luke’s Church following an internment at St Helens Crematorium at 10am.