Former Berwick Mayoress Nan Longbone dies, aged 83

A FORMER Mayoress and Sheriff’s Lady of Berwick, Nan Longbone, died last week, aged 83.

A native of Eyemouth, a member of the well-known Spratt family, she began work in her parents’ plumbing business in the town.

Every day before starting, she went for a swim in the North Sea. Later she was on the staff of Caverhill’s in Berwick.

She married Eric Longbone, who worked in the family business of H B Longbone and Son in Walkergate, and moved to the town to set up home in Glamis Hill where she lived for 55 years.

Entering the Longbone business, Nan played a vital role in its steady expansion, becoming responsible for handling the accounts. She also helped in the setting-up of the new shop, Rhapsody, in Berwick.

An accomplished needleworker, seamstress and knitter, her talents were invaluable.

When her husband became a town councillor, she gave him great support and took a keen interest in the community. In 1973-74, the final year of the old Berwick Town Council, Eric became Sheriff with Nan as his Lady. In partnership with the Mayor, Councillor Robert Blackhall, and his mayoress they became a very popular civic team and had the honour of welcoming the Queen Mother to the town.

In 1979, Eric and Nan became Mayor and Mayoress of the much enlarged Berwick borough and enjoyed another successful year in office, attending over 300 functions. She became a member of the Mayoress’ Club and over many years was a regular attender at their meetings. She was also a leading member of the Berwick Soroptomists Club and a loyal supporter of St Andrew’s Wallace Green Church.

At a service in the church on Monday, a moving eulogy, written by her son Bryon and daughter Sandra, described her hard work, her love of the family and the care and the kindness she showed throughout her life.