Obituary of Mabel Jean Ryles (nee Barnsley)
Mabel Jean Ryles (nee Barnsley) was born on July 16th 1930 to Walter and Florence Barnsley in Stockton Brook, Stoke on Trent. Walter was a Chain Maker working in the Black Country. Mabel was the youngest of 5 children, surviving Reg, Ken, Ethel and Joan and living to a greater age having celebrated her 90th Birthday in July 2020
From a young age Mabel was an animal and nature lover with a passion for horses and when old enough worked delivering milk from a horse drawn cart.
In 1947 when Mabel was 17, Britain was hit by a severe winter with snow starting to fall on January 23rd, sub zero temperatures and heavy drifting affecting the country until a March thaw, it was during this time that Mabel and the milk delivery horse and cart made the national papers with Mabel being photographed knee deep in snow struggling through the drifts to get to house holds depending on the deliveries.
Later Mabel worked at the famous independent Stoke Pottery ‘Moorcroft’ as a designer and painter, then at G.H Heath in Burslem, however this lovely lady took life by the horns and filled her ‘off duty’ time with many sports and social activities, a people person who enjoyed being with a group of likeminded friends, Mabel loved to play Badminton and one of this sporting group was to become her husband.
Mabel married James (Jim) Ryles in 1953 setting up home in Ball Green and becoming parents to Sue in 1958 and completing their family in 1960 when Chris was born. The couple remained social and many of these Badminton friends remained close through life.
The partnership between Jim and Mabel was one filled with love and humour, Mabel often playing the straight man to Jim’s jokes. Whilst Jim was busy repairing electrical devises Mabel would nurture plants and vegetables having been greatly influenced by her father Walter in early years, something that even when she eventually moved into a flat she would continue to do, rescuing plants for her friends to flexing her green fingers.
The Family moved to Biddulph Moor where although very beautiful the winters could be very harsh, and the wind could steal washing from the line, before the family moved downhill slightly to Brown Edge.
Mabel’s passion for animals could be indulged fully whilst living in their Biddulph Moor home and she would rescue all manner of birds and beasts – dogs, rabbits, chickens, goldfish and ponies, the care of which would take up a lot of her time and impact her social lifestyle, but it was a passion Mabel would carry forward throughout her life.
Mabel and Jim worked side by side to make each of their house’s homes and these homes where always filled with laughter and love.
When Jim’s health deteriorated Mabel looked after him, without complaint until he sadly died in 2011.
Mabel continued with her love of active hobbies when ever time would allow, she loved cricket, and athletics. In later life she enjoyed following tennis star Andy Murray.
Mabel’s love of horses continued and when Sue and Chris started to learn to ride so did Mabel. Given the chance Mabel would have loved to rally drive. She even had a small motor bike for a while.
Mable enjoyed watching and singing along to musicals, especially ‘The Sound Of Music’.
Chronicling, capturing and holding onto memories through her love of photography, was also something Mabel enjoyed, although not always in focus Mabel’s homes contained very many framed photographs of birds, flowers and friends equally as her Grandchildren grew. Mabel was immensely proud of all their achievements collecting many newspaper cuttings of them, perhaps finishing a race, clearly having inherited Nanny’s athletic prowess, or of their scouting activities.
Mabel also loved many genre of poetry from the serious and deep to the more modern and humous Pam Ayres style and would take verses from newspapers and magazine to keep safe and re read or recount from memory to the amazement of her friends.
In the recent years after Mabel had moved to Orchard Gardens in Congleton, finding again community companionship and new friends she would enjoy weekly outing to Astbury Garden Centre for lunch.
Mabel would never forget a birthday, enjoying sending cards and when resident at Orchard Gardens, sharing birthday cake with her good friends along with frequent film nights, having her hair and nails done, writing and receiving letters, eating cream cakes and playing bowls in the lounge, always accompanied by her handbag which like her knitting bag and pockets would a contain toffees to be shared.
She was a wonderful lady who perfectly embodied that description in all facets of her life, this was a lady who was spirited, vital, vigorous, zestful and lived her life to the full with all her varied hobbies along with her immense love for and pride in her family.
Sadly she passed away, very peacefully on 29th of January aged 90.
Her funeral was held at Macclesfield Crematorium on February 23rd 2021. In keeping with Mable’s love of wildlife, donations were made in lieu of flowers and gifted to the Lower Moss Wood Nature Reserve and Wildlife Hospital.