Talented dressmaker who took keen interest in village life

Date: Tuesday 1st May 2018

A POPULAR and well respected member of the local community, Dorothy Anne Thwaytes has died, aged 85.

Born in 1932, the daughter of Isaac Stanley and Elizabeth Edna Earl at Halefield, Kirkby Thore, she had one brother, Joseph, of Dersingham, Norfolk, and three sisters, Mary Bower, of Grasmere, and the late Elizabeth Rogers and Jean Burne.

After attending school at Kirkby Thore and Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Penrith, she began work on the family farm and then at a chemist in Appleby.

Her ambition on leaving school was to become a dressmaker or tailor, but due to the lack of training outlets after the war, this did not materialise.

Dorothy had a keen interest in sewing, having started at the age of four, and enjoyed handicrafts throughout her life.

She also loved knitting and dressmaking and made a bridal gown, bridesmaid dresses and a pageboy’s outfit for her daughter’s wedding. In addition, she made choir robes for the local church and carried out alterations for family and friends.

She always had knitting to hand, even in the days before her death, and over the years crafted numerous items for charity Christmas shoe boxes.

Dorothy married Kenneth (Ken) Thwaytes, of Espland Hill, near Appleby, at Kirkby Thore Methodist Church and they went on to have four children, Anne Bell, of Appleby, Helen Hodgson, of Kirkoswald, Robin Thwaytes, of Exeter, and Coral Thwaytes, of Penrith.

Taking a keen interest in village life, Dorothy was active in all parts of the WI, and acted as treasurer, secretary and missionary collector.

A keen writer, she was a correspondent for the Herald for a time and also wrote her own life story.

In retirement at Temple Sowerby, Ken died in 1997 after several months of illness. Dorothy made a move to Penrith soon after for convenience, and was extremely happy.

She involved herself in the life of Penrith Methodist Church, helping at luncheon clubs and also carrying out voluntary work for Woodlands Methodist Homes, where she undertook sewing alterations for residents. Donations she received were given to Hospice at Home.

A keen walker and traveller, Dorothy visited many parts of the world, including Iceland, Canada, St Petersburg and Alaska, where she flew over the Arctic Circle.

She was very proud of her children and grandchildren, always giving up her time to help them and was always there for a chat.

She is survived by her children Anne, Helen, Robin and Coral; sons-in law Alastair Bell, David Hodgson and Robert Henderson; grandchildren Gavin and Jonathan Bell, Tim and Mark Hodgson and Abby, Connor and Maryann Henderson; and her siblings Joseph and Mary.