Winifred Fernley (nee Bradley) 1924-2005


Today marks the eighteenth anniversary of the death of my mother Winifred Joyce Fernley, (nee Bradley). Winifred, (usually known as Win), was born on September 17th 1924 in Warsop, Nottinghamshire. Her parents, originally from Manchester, moved there sometime after May 1923, when her father, Wilfred Bradley, was promoted from railway porter to signalman.

The family didn’t stay in the east midlands for long and were soon back in Manchester. I have a class picture taken sometime in the mid 1930’s of my mother at Audenshaw Council School. The date on the picture is partly obscured, but I think it was taken in 1936. By September 1939, Win had moved to Charlesworth in Derbyshire, where she met my father Walter Fernley, who she married in 1948.

Mum lived in Charlesworth and the surrounding area for the rest of her life, bringing up me and my sister. She was also fondly remembered by hundreds of pupils at Dinting Methodist Primary School, where she worked as a dinner lady and classroom assistant for nearly 20 years.

Mum had a great sense of humour and a love of language. She was a keen amateur actress and I remember seeing her in several plays. She was also a great storyteller. I will never forget the stories she made up for me about the pots and pans that came to life at night in Mr McGregor’s farm kitchen, or Mr Puffin’s scarf that blew away in a storm and had many adventures before being reunited with its owner.

When she retired from Dinting Methodist school Mum and dad loved travelling around Britain in their caravan, always accompanied by their beloved dogs. Always up for an adventure, at the age of 76 mum took her first holiday abroad to France with me, Liz and the kids.

I have many fond memories of life with mum and dad, and they are still sorely missed.

Winifred Bradley at Audenshaw Council School in 1936 (Win is circled in White)
Looking glamorous in the 1940’s
Win, second from the left in a play with Charlesworth Players

4 Responses

  1. Jan says:

    I loved your mum very much, although to me she will always be Mrs Fernley. Even though my mum was a supervisor too, I would always go to your mum because she was so much more sympathetic. I would also love it when I was in her group when we went on one of Miss Renwicks crazy school trips. Many happy memories .

    • David Fernley says:

      Thanks for the kind words Jan. I’d forgotten the school trips. I think we used to swap between York, Chester and the Derbyshire Dales. And Miss Renwick would always get red in the face and shouty because we were noisy on the coach. Happy days.

      • Jan says:

        I remember Miss Renwick always pointed out landmarks, for years I thought the double railway bridge was called the Rly bridge, not until I was a little older did the penny drop that Rly was just the abbreviation for railway marked on the map.

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