Win Wilson was born in Thistleton, Rutland but moved to the ‘red brick houses’ in Creeton when she was a few months old. She remained a resident of Creeton until she moved to be with her family in Manchester in December 2010. Win lived in four different houses in Creeton during her 89 years – considering there are less than 30 houses in Creeton altogether that’s quite a percentage of them!
The third eldest of seven children, Win was the only girl. She attended Little Bytham School, as it was called then and at 14 left to work in Bowder’s shop in Castle Bytham. She used to ride to work on an old bike with no brakes – which was precarious as she rode down the hill into Castle Bytham from Counthorpe. A few years later he brother Jack was killed in a cycling accident coming down another hill into Castle Bytham. Win then went to work with her father Tom, on Millington’s farm in Creeton where she loved working with the horses. Eventually she went to work on the land down the fen and during the Second World War worked building runways on various airfields with the ‘Land Army’.
During the war, a Searchlight Camp was set up in Creeton. This was a major event in the life of a small village. The soldiers there were offered hospitality by Win’s family. Win’s mum Ruth, knowing that three of their boys were away fighting, hoped someone somewhere would be offering them that same hospitality. Towards the end of the war a new team of Territorials came to Creeton to man the Searchlight Camp. One of them was a young Irish man called Joseph Patrick Hussey known as Paddy. Win and Pady met, fell in love and were eventually married in 1946 when Paddy got a job on the railway and moved in with Win’s family in the Riverside Cottages. In 1947 their son James was born, followed by daughter Ruth in 1950. Later that year they moved up to the Council houses by the school fondly nicknamed ‘Education Row’ by Paddy. Ten years later, another son, Joseph was born.
During that time all Win’s remaining brothers – Bill, Arthur, Bob and Len all lived and worked in Creeton and Little Bytham – the only exception was Harold who moved the vast distance of 30 miles away to Huntingdonshire! Their father, Tom died in his fifties, but Ruth remained in Creeton for the rest of her life and lived to be 85 years old. Win and Paddy’s family grew up, Ruth and James both went to the grammar schools in Stamford and Joseph went to a special school for the profoundly deaf near Burton-on-Trent. By this time the family had moved just 9 houses up the road to a bigger house with a bathroom – a luxury in those days! Win returned to working on the land and Paddy was a well known figure in the villages playing in Little Bytham football team and becoming involved in the British Legion. Fishing was his passion and sadly he died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 55, whilst fishing at South Witham.
Win continued to live in the village and as grandchildren came along she devoted her life to spending as much time with them as possible. Ruth’s children in particular spent many school holiday’s with her enjoying the countryside away from Manchester where they lived and she often went on camping holidays with them until well into her 70’s. James’s family lived nearby in Stamford and she saw lots of them too. As the grandchildren grew up and great grandchildren came along, she enjoyed travelling to Manchester to stay with them and especially to Northern Ireland. In December 2010 she moved to Manchester permanently, but when asked where her home was she always said “Creeton”.
After a short illness, Win died in Manchester Royal Infirmary surrounded by much of the family she loved so dearly. She met her latest great granddaughter, Lucy Winifred, just the day before she died. She will be greatly missed by all her family and friends, not only in Lincolnshire, but also the many friends she had made in Manchester over the last 40 years of visits. Her funeral service was held in a packed St Margarets Church, Burnage, Manchester where she had regularly worshipped whilst staying with family. Her ashes wll be interred in the churchyard, alongside those of her family members, in her beloved Creeton.
Added : 06/12/11 : MG