Farewell to ‘Auntie’- one of Wakefield’s oldest women dies at age of 106

Phyllis Lockwood.
Phyllis Lockwood.

One of Wakefield’s oldest people has died aged 106.

Phyllis Lockwood, of Stannard Well Lane, Horbury, “died peacefully” in Pinderfields Hospital on Saturday.

Church records show the retired dressmaker was baptised at Westgate Unitarian Chapel where she was a member of the congregation for more than 100 years.

Her nephew John Lockwood, 78, said: “Auntie was the proud owner of three birthday cards from The Queen. You get one when you are a hundred. Then you get one when you are 105 and then you get one every year.”

She was more than an aunt to Mr Lockwood and his sister Jean Howarth. He said: “Auntie Phyllis became mother to Jean and me in 1946 and helped bring us up.”

Mr Lockwood, of Westfield Road, Horbury, said: “She was irreplaceable.”

He recalled a story about her selfless qualities from his National Service days in Wiltshire. He was about 18, in the RAF and about to go on parade. Unfortunately, he’d left part of his kit up in Wakefield.

He said: “I was absolutely terrified that we had to go on parade. But I got a little note from the GPO in Wiltshire to say there was a parcel for me from home. When I collected it I found she had sent the missing kit.”

Turning to her career, Mr Lockwood said: “Auntie Phyllis was a dress maker. She made a lot of wedding dresses and bridesmaids’ outfits for the community. She was well known. She worked from home, but during the war years she worked at Slazenger’s at Horbury Bridge making rifle buts and ammunition boxes.”

Away from work she was a keen dancer, and up until recently she danced at the community centre in Cluntergate.

She was also a mainstay of the congregation at Westgate Unitarian Chapel.

Mr Lockwood said: “There will be a short service for her at the chapel where the records show she was baptised and where she had been a member for over 100 years.”

Miss Lockwood is survived by her nephew and niece and their five children and six grandchildren.

Phyllis Lockwood was born on August 17, 1908.

She lived in the same house on Stannard Well Lane, Horbury since 1927.

She was a dressmaker by trade who made lots of wedding dresses and bridesmaids’ outfits.

Miss Lockwood was a member of the Westgate Unitarian Chapel for more than 100 years.