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Anne Johnson

Alfie and Annie JohnsonAlfie and Annie JohnsonMarlborough Town Crier Alfie Johnson said he had lost his soul mate and his former teenage sweetheart after his wife Anne died on Saturday at Great Western Hospital.

Mrs Johnson, 68, died about 18 hours after being admitted to the Swindon hospital last Friday after her health began to deteriorate rapidly at Coombe End Court nursing home where she had been cared for over the past 16 months.

Her husband and their daughter Diane were at her bedside when she passed away.

Mrs Johnson, nee Fraser, who was born and brought up in Ogbourne St Andrew, had been confined to her bed by failing health in the months before her death.

She was educated at the former Ogbourne St Andrew village school before attending Marlborough Secondary Modern School which was on The Common at the time.

After leaving school she went to work for the former Pelhams  Puppet factory in Marlborough which during the Sixties and Seventies was one of the town’s largest employers.

She was still in her teens when mutual friends arranged a blind date with Mr Johnson who was at that time as employed as a shoe repairer after completing his National Service in the Army where he was a bandsman.

Mrs Johnson, who outlived her two brothers, was married in 1967 in St Andrew’s Church at Ogbourne and the couple honeymooned in Southsea before moving into the London Road cottage that was home for the rest of her life.

Their wedding invitations invited guests to the marriage of Bubbles and Yop.  She was nicknamed  Bubbles by her workmates  because of her smiling personality and Mr Johnson had been called Yop by army mates.

Mrs Johnson continued to work for Pelhams after the birth of their daughter and her pastimes were knitting and sewing.

She was a great supporter of the town’s former carnival, made costumes for some of the entries and acted as chaperone for carnival queens for many years.

Most of all Mrs Johnson was known for her support for her husband’s role as town crier and he rarely turned out without her.

Mr Johnson, 15 years her senior and town crier for 21 years, said: “She looked after me 150 per cent as town crier.  Anne would always make sure my costume was smart and that my bell was polished.

“Not only did she accompany me everywhere, she also acted as my official photographer.”

After leaving Pelhams Mrs Johnson became a volunteer helper at the Jubilee Centre for some years until a debilitating condition left her virtually housebound.

Daughter Diane said: “Anything to do with animals or babies then Mum was in her element.”

At the time of publication details of the funeral arrangements have still not been finalised.

 

 At the start of the Town Council meeting on Monday evening (December 15), Mayor Marian Hannaford-Dobson invited councillors, officers and members of the public to stand for two minutes silence in memory and in honour of Annie Johnson.

 

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Christmas-Lights15-11-20097
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