Maggi Morrison – a short history

Margaret Irene (Maggi) Morrison (nee Tellum) was borne to parents Edward (Ted) Tellum and his wife Margaret (Peggy) on the 11th December 1946. At the time they lived in the Northumbrian village of Choppington in the UK. As Maggi grew up it was clear that she loved her family and, in particular, paternal Grandfather Ben but not quite so much her maternal Grandfather.

Maggi with parents and grandparents Ben and Ethel

By the time she was school age she had already been taught to read mainly by her father Ted who had trained to be a teacher after the Second World War. He had left the local Coop where he and Peggy worked and was drafted into the army, landing in France on D-Day on Gold Beach, along with many of his friends from home who did not survive.

Young Maggi at Stakeford Northumberland

Maggi attended local schools in her early days and after the family moved to Bedlington she attended Bedlington Grammar School.

After school she had quite a number of jobs. She trained as a nurse but did not complete the training, worked in a few hotels in Newcastle and latterly worked as a radio operator at Northumberland County Fire Brigade headquarters in Morpeth. At that time she also attended the fire service training college at Moreton in the Marsh, England.

Maggi with Uncle Stan, Aunt Peggy and grandmother Ethel at Stakeford

Maggi has a younger brother Keith who currently lives with his wife Susan in Leeds.

Aunt Peggy,Maggi and Keith at Newbiggin

For various reasons, around 1970, Maggi moved to Edinburgh and it was on a fateful railway journey back to Edinburgh, having visted her parents, that she met husband to be Ian who was travelling from Newcastle to a new job at Edinburgh University. I believe the first thing that Ian said to Maggi on the journey north was ‘train journeys are incredibly boring’. Journeys and life in general were never boring after that and the couple dated and eventually married on the 28th June 1973.

Maggi worked at several jobs in Edinburgh. She was a receptionist/telephonist at the Caledonian Hotel and at the George Hotel. A jewellery sales person at Hamilton and Inches and a sales person for Jones Sewing at John Lewis in Edinburgh. Her longest job by far was with the Peoples Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) as the Edinburgh charity shop manager. She worked there for nearly 17 years and as well as managing the shop she also trained new managers for other PDSA shops in Scotland.

When she left the PDSA she developed her interest in Reiki, Indian Head Massage and Crystal Healing and became an instructor in all those disciplines. Her favourite place for practicing that in Edinburgh was the Salisbury Centre.

Maggi and Aunt Peggy at Cresswell

Maggi’s marriage to Ian was on the whole good but there were, as ever in many marriages, a few ‘bumpy’ stages which needed to be fixed. They both worked hard in their jobs and had great holidays together. One of Maggi’s favourite places was France as she had researched her ancestry and reckoned that her ancestors originally lived in Brittany but came to Northumberland via Cornwall.

Maggi and Ann and Jean Claude in France

Maggi at the Stenness Standing Stones in Orkney in 2011

Maggi at breakfast in 2010

Some 36 years later than their first meeting on that train Ian retired from the University and in the last four years Maggi and Ian have been enjoying life together and travelling in their motorhome all over the UK and Europe. Just after Ian’s retiral they got involved with Couchsurfing and have made countless friends from all over the world .

Maggi in Aloe Hotel in Cyprus -2009

Sadly, Ian has now lost the love of his life but what is certain is that ‘ Journeys and Life were never boring‘ with Maggi around.

One thing that has really helped over this difficult time was that Maggi and Ian had the sense to talk about what was required if either of us died. IThere was no illusion as to what Maggi wanted and this made it easier to organise what was required. Ian could only recommend to other couples that they also talk about what is required should the unexpected happen. The other thing that Maggi and Ian talked about was if the worst happened to either of them would they stay alone for the rest of their lives. Both of them came to the conclusion that the answer was no.

Ian Morrison

30th September 2011