Lifelong Ousby villager and community mainstay

Date: Monday 12th June 2017
Audrey Mark
Audrey Mark

A LIFELONG Ousby villager and manstay of community events, Audrey Mark, died at her home, after battling illness. She was aged 70.

There was a huge turnout at the funeral service last Wednesday at the village’s St. Luke’s Church, conducted by Canon Stephen Pye, which reflected her integral role in the community.

The daughter of the late Pearson and Grace Noble, Audrey was born and raised at the family farm at Crewgarth, Ousby, along with sister Kathleen and brother John, who now farms there. She was educated at Ousby School and at the then secondary school at Lazonby before starting work at the Tudor Cafe, Penrith.

She later worked at the Edenhall Estate, collecting eggs, and after the bridge at Langwathby was washed away in the flood of March, 1968, had to get a boat across the River Eden each day for many months. However, after her mother became ill she left her job to nurse her and run the farmhouse.

She married farmer Malcolm Mark, of The Hole, Ousby, 47 years ago and the couple spent their married life at Showcroft, the bungalow they built in the village.

They had two daughters, Janet and Helen, and, following the death of Audrey’s sister-in-law leaving a baby son, Stephen Noble, they took him into their family.

As well as working in the farmhouse at her family’s farm, and with Malcolm at his farm, Audrey was always the first to offer practical help to anyone who needed it.

She nursed many relatives, including her aunt, father and Malcolm’s mother and father, and helped care for her grandchildren, being very proud of all four of them and of her great granddaughter.

Her family and her village were both very close to Audrey’s heart and she was the first to admit that, like a fell sheep, she was heafed to her home patch. She liked to know the latest local news and to support community events.

She was a skilled cook and baker, but her great love was needlework and particularly cross-stitch and tapestry which she exhibited very successfully not just at Ousby show but also at Penrith, Dufton, Temple Sowerby and Skelton shows.

She was involved with Ousby show for most of her life, exhibiting as a child and serving on the committee for four decades after taking over from her mother at the age of 23. A special presentation was made to her in 2012 when she stood down after serving for 24 years as secretary.

She was also a dedicated supporter of Ousby Church, making items all year and selling them on craft stalls at Christmas and summer fairs, with all proceeds going to St. Luke’s. She was still preparing for the next sale at the time of her death.

Audrey is survived by husband Malcolm, daughters Janet Johnston, Great Salkeld, and Helen Jeffreys, Carlisle, and son Stephen, who still lives at home; four grandchildren, Rebecca, Jessica, Jack and Thalia; and one great grandchild, Grace. Her sister, Kathleen Ruddick, lives at Carlisle, and her brother John at Crewgarth.