Farewell Peggy, village legend who had a real zest for life

Date: Tuesday 10th April 2018
Peggy Greenwood, aged 100, in Brisbane, Australia, with her great-granddaughter, Holly.
Peggy Greenwood, aged 100, in Brisbane, Australia, with her great-granddaughter, Holly.

SOCKBRIDGE village legend Peggy Greenwood, who had a real “zest for life”, has died at the age of 102.

She was born as Kathleen Greenwood in Wallasey in 1916, the daughter of George Russell Montgomery, an engineering officer with the White Star Line shipping company, and Lillie Beatrice, a teacher.

Her travelling life started at the age of three when her father’s ship was assigned to the Italy to New York run and the family went to live in Genoa for three years. Memories of her life in Nervi, with summers spent at Menaggio on Lake Como, stayed with her for life.

When she left school she started work at Martin’s Bank, West Kirby, where her parents then lived. In 1940, she went with her parents on holiday to Keswick and she met her husband-to-be, the late Bill Greenwood, from Bristol. They married in 1942 and honeymooned in Langdale.

Post-war life saw Mr Greenwood working for the Ocean Insurance Company and the couple moved to Barnstaple, where their first son, Brian, was born. In 1950, they moved to Swansea where second son Keith (who sadly died in 2008) was born the same year.

In 1962, Mr Greenwood’s job moved to Cardiff and they lived at Penarth for many years. In 1989, the house in Sockbridge, near Tirril, was bought.

Following her husband’s death in 1993, Peggy threw herself into village life. She will be remembered for her love of the outdoors, particularly mountains and the coast, her zest for life and energy, and her love of family.

In her youth she was a keen walker and climber. She continued walking the hills until in her late 80s and enjoyed camping holidays.

Paying tribute to his mother, Brian said: “After my father died she continued to travel, at first with friends, including a few Titteringtons coach tours and later on cruises. The highlight was a tour circumnavigating South America around Cape Horn on her 87th birthday.

“She visited Australia and New Zealand for the first time aged 89. Another three trips to Australia followed — the last aged 100.

“She treasured her role as a grandmother, being very supportive of their aspirations and achievements, and her great-grandchildren Holly and Ben brought a new lease of life and enthusiasm to her.”

In the village of Sockbridge, Peggy seemed to join almost everything she could. She helped with costumes and scenery, as well as on stage, for the Sockbridge and Tirril Entertainment Group before retiring after an appearance in the Sound of Music aged almost 90.

She joined the indoor bowls, garden and wine clubs, Tirril Women’s Guild and Penrith Ladies’ Luncheon Club. Even into her late 90s she was still regularly baking cakes for events in the village hall.

And, aged 100, she took a hot air balloon ride from Dalemain. She tried to remain active until the end. Until she was almost 101 she would try to get out into the garden, even if only to sit on a seat and hoe a few weeds. After coming out of hospital last September her objective was to get fit enough to walk to the Queens Head Inn, Tirril, for Sunday lunch.

Peggy is survived by son Brian, of Surrey, who is married to Cheryl; grandchildren Richard, Tom, David and Patrick; and great-grandchildren Holly, aged five, and one-year-old Ben.