(57) Marguerite Ann Copinger
Born on 17th December 1940 at Horsham in Sussex at the home of her maternal grandmother, her mother was a nurse and her father an RAF Pilot. The Second World War (1939-45) was in progress at the time. Owing to this, the family moved several times during her early life during which time her two brothers were born. Paul in 1943 and John in 1944. She attended several primary schools but when her father was de-mobbed in 1946 the family moved to Southall in Middlesex where her father eventually went into Air Traffic Control at London Airport (Now Heathrow) This location being handy for his job. She did as little work as possible at school and went to a junior secondary which was where one went on failing the 11+. However after a few years there she was transferred to a supposed better school where it was possible to take the GCE exam which she did with varying success gaining 3 out of the four she had attempted.
1957 her father was moved to Prestwick Airport in Scotland and
all the family went also. It was not practical for Ann to stay in
London on her own, either to stay on at school or get a job. It
was certainly a bit of a culture shock at first but getting a job
was easy and she found everybody friendly and helpful introducing
her to all the local teenage activities. She worked at
first in a Market Garden in the shop selling the produce and
making floral arrangements and packing flowers for the markets.
It was varied and interesting work and far better than sitting at
a desk all day.
On passing her driving test she got a part time job taxi driving which is where she met Tony McCluskey in 1961 who was eventually to become her husband. He worked on the railway at the time driving a steam locomotive, and drove a taxi in his spare time and cleaned chimneys if he had any more spare time. As there was a lot of unrest in the railways at the time he eventually left there and started up as a coal merchant in partnership with a friend. Ann & Tony moved in together around this time, a practice frowned on in those days, but as he was still married to his first wife it was the only option at the time. The friend was not a very good business man and he got the coal merchants business into trouble so they split up and Ann took over the bookkeeping for the business. By this time she had left the Market garden and had another couple of jobs but Tony bought another lorry so she started driving this more or less to keep an eye on the man who carried the coal but discovered she was able to carry briquettes herself so would go to the plant at 4am twice a week for a lorry load and come back to the town and deliver them. (Briquettes were made from coal dust and some pitch to stick it together , they were about 6 inches square and about 4 inches thick if you put 2 or 3 on the fire they burned slowly for a long time and gave out a good heat and saved a lot of money on coal.)
Ann and Tony worked together in the coal business for several years, during which time their son Michael was born in January 1966. Shortly after this Tony had to give up heavy work owing to ill health also the gas fires were beginning to be more popular as a lot of new housing was getting built, and coal was not needed the same. So he started a Taxi business which thrived having at one time six taxis and 3 buses. Ann drove the taxis and the buses and kept the books.
Since 1965 they had had a black miniature poodle who had a couple of litters of puppies, and then Ann got a chance to have a white one something she had wanted since a small girl. They bought a nice semi detached sandstone house near to the taxi office in a nice area next to a park and with a good walled garden , so good for the dogs.
In 1977 they got married and the next year moved to a large detached house with a large yard behind for the vehicles and a lovely big garden in front. Ann started showing her poodles about this time and had quite a lot of success over the years, branching out into the larger size of poodle and also Bernese Mountain dogs who have done even better at the shows than the poodles. She began judging dogs in 1987 and travelled all over Great Britain and Ireland judging and showing her dogs. She also became Secretary of Kilmarnock & District Canine Club after many years on the committee, in order to “give something back” to the hobby of dog showing which had given her so much pleasure and success over the years.
In late 2002 she discovered she had cancer and early in 2003 went through major surgery from which it took many months to recover. 2004 was a new beginning for her as the surgery seemed to have effected a complete cure, and she looked forward to many more years showing and travelling with her dogs and doing things in the house and garden with Tony.
Sadly her cancer returned and she died on 6thFebruary 2009.
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|This page was last updated on 02 August 2016.||
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