Family’s warm tribute to ‘caring, loving’ Cissie, 104



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Her caring, loving nature, wicked chuckle and sense of humour will be missed by all who knew her.

That was the tribute paid by her family to Cissie Howarth, who has died aged 104.

Cissie was born in Bridge Road, Douglas, in June 1910, but the family soon moved to Colby.

One of 15 children she went to Arbory School before later attending Hanover Street School.

Son Roy said: ‘Times were difficult during World War One. Cissie remembered being lifted up by elder brother Tommy to reach the figs that grew on the branches hanging over Ballagawne Nurseries, and the local farmer would at times leave the family a sack containing rooks he had killed so that her mother could make ‘blackbird pie’.

Her first job was as a domestic in Port St Mary and she travelled to work from Douglas everyday by steam train.

After two years she started work in Dibb’s China Shop in Duke Street, Douglas.

‘Unfortunately she was only there for one week as she was afraid of dropping the expensive china.’

She then started work in Cannell’s Cafe, in Duke Street, now known as Down Town, serving meals on three floors for five or six years.

‘We can only guess that running up and down stairs gave her the strong heart that would keep her going for a total of 104 years,’ Roy said.

She met husband Albert as a customer in 1927.

‘Albert impressed Cissie with his Sunbeam motorbike. However, there was only one seat, and Cissie had to sit on a cushion tied to the back mudguard.’

They married at Kirk Braddan in 1932 and had three children, Joan, Audrey and Roy. Their marriage lasted until 1990 when Albert died.

Both Albert and Cissie were keen gardeners and when Albert could no longer cope Cissie took over growing the tomatoes, which she did until she was 98, when she finally conceded her arthritis was making life difficult.

‘However she refused to buy a stair lift as it was “far too expensive” and as she had gone upstairs to bed for 98 years she wasn’t going to have her bed moved downstairs and change the habit of a lifetime.

‘Things were generally done Cissie’s way, and in Cissie’s time.’

When she was 101, she reluctantly gave up her independence and moved into Shenn Valley Care Home, in Hutchinson Square, Douglas.

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