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Daughter's heartfelt tribute to Margaret Twaddle, stalwart of Bishop's Stortford Baptist Church

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A woman who was a pillar of the community and was described by her daughter as "the most caring, generous, strong, independent, selfless person" has died at the age of 74.

Scottish-born former nurse Margaret Twaddle moved to Little Hallingbury from Glasgow in 1986 with husband George, son Graham and daughter Jill.

She was a nurse at the Ruth Allen Nursing Agency in the 1990s before ending her career after many years as a Marie Curie nurse. She had studied nursing in Glasgow after attending Inverness Academy and before moving south had worked on an orthopaedic ward in Glasgow.

Margaret Twaddle pictured in a gondola during a holiday in Venice with her son Graham and daughter Jill to celebrate her 70th birthday (49106350)
Margaret Twaddle pictured in a gondola during a holiday in Venice with her son Graham and daughter Jill to celebrate her 70th birthday (49106350)

Daughter Jill Gregory, 46, who works with the Planteria group and lives in Stortford, told the Indie that Margaret was a key figure and had many integral roles at Bishop's Stortford Baptist Church over the last 30 years.

Margaret lost husband George, a stockbroker, to a heart attack in 1996 at the age of 50 and she threw herself into working in the community and travelling the world.

She was a street pastor from its initial set-up in Stortford until 2019, when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Margaret was a Games pastor at the 2012 London Olympics and spent a few years with the Healing on the Streets team, who meet in Market Square on Saturdays.

"Mum absolutely loved cycling and walking and was out doing both most days before Alzheimer’s," said Jill.

"She loved travelling and went on many ramblers holidays all over the world, from Greece to Nepal. She took a trip with friends on the Trans-Siberian Express, travelling through Russia, Outer Mongolia and ending in China.

"Venice was a particular favourite and where the three of us (Mum, Graham and I) went to celebrate her 70th birthday."

Born Sheila Margaret Pottie in Nairn, near Inverness, on April 29, 1947, but known as Margaret from a child, she never lost her love for her homeland.

Jill said her mum visited and cycled round every single one of the Scottish islands, adding that Nairn beach was "her favourite place in the whole world" and this is where her ashes will be scattered.

Son Graham, 48, who owns air conditioning company Subcooling Services, lives in Keers Green, Aythorpe Roding, and is married to Anne. Graham has daughter Maisy, 21, son Sam, 19, and stepdaughters Olivia Grey, 20, and Anna Grey, 19.

Jill is married to Mark Gregory and has two sons, Ben, 17, and Finlay, 16. Ben plans to go to university to study medicine after being inspired by his granny’s Alzheimer’s to make a difference.

After living in King's Court in Bishop's Stortford since the 1990s, Margaret moved to Hazel End care home in Kitchener Road, St Michael's Hurst, in January this year and died there on July 6. She is survived by older brothers John Pottie, 79, and Bob Pottie, 77, still living in Inverness-shire.

Jill paid a heartfelt tribute to her mother. "Mum was the most caring, generous, strong, independent, selfless person you could ever meet. She was always helping someone and was someone that so many people turned to for help and comfort."

Margaret had planned her funeral meticulously. There will be a short, family-only service at Parndon Wood Crematorium in Harlow on Tuesday (July 20) at midday, followed by a 'celebration of life' service at Bishop's Stortford Baptist Church in Twyford Road at 1.30pm to which all are welcome, but Jill said that no dark clothes are to be worn and "no one is to be sad”.

Family flowers only and any donations to the Alzheimer’s Society can be made online via funeral director Daniel Robinson & Sons in South Street.

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