Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Isabella McFedries Fleming 1903-1995

ca 1950

Today would have been the the 108th birthday of my mother-in-law.

Known as Bel, she lived until a month short of her 92nd birthday.

She was born in Elbow Lane, Cumnock the first child of Hugh Fleming and Mary Cowan Wilson. She had 4 younger siblings and 3 older half siblings. When Hugh's first wife died he married his young cousin Mary.

Bel worked in a hotel in Ayr and she was married there to David McMeekin, a Cumnock coal miner who was 11 years older than her. They had 3 children, the youngest when she was 45 and her husband was 56.
with her sons in the 70s
They lived in Glengyron Row a miners' row on the hill above Cumnock until 1939 when they moved into the town.

What was remarkable about her that she was profoundly deaf from her early twenties but she could speak very well and was excellent at lip-reading. She would "listen" to her son's reading. She had trouble with modern words that she had never heard such as video which she pronounced as vidAyo and chiropodist which was CHERRypodist.

She was an excellent cook and expert at knitting and crochet. Widowed in 1973, she lived on her own until shortly before her death, supported by her daughter-in-law and grandchildren who lived nearby.

Most of all I remember her as a kind and funny lady who never bad-mouthed anyone. She had a large number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren who loved her dearly.

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