Enthralling words of wisdom writes Roy Edmonds

As we look back on those lockdown months, hopefully never to return, there were – as always in adversity – some telling lessons.

By Suzanne Steedman
Thursday, 20th January 2022, 3:45 pm

News of Doreen Connolly (pictured), a 90-year-old from St Annes who became a global podcaster during those confined times, was delightfully uplifting. Her son-in-law in Australia set her up with a tablet device. He encouraged her stories, under his nickname for her of Milly, about growing up in Manchester’s Moss Side during the war years and later running a pub in Wigan.

It was all meant to be for her daughter’s family and those of her two sons but, in the process, her podcast ‘Mondays With Milly’ attracted dedicated followers in 27 countries.

This heartening story of an oldie enthralling the young reminded me of old boys at my local, many now sadly gone. They often surprised and charmed us with colourful tales of the past – as well as offering valuable, worldly-wise advice.

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Doreen Connolly

Even my dear, late mother in her final years had surprises for me – like discovering for the first time she’d been captain of her Cheshire girls’ high-school first-eleven cricket team. Also, my well-known, late mother-in-law, Wynne, told wonderful stories of Blackpool, travelling the world and her Edinburgh childhood.

Old people are usually full of sensible, down-to-earth and well-tried advice, if you only deem to ask them. They also tell good jokes, much to many younger people’s surprise.

Doreen’s son-in-law Phil said: “I was enraptured by what she said. She has the sharpest memory and this gift for storytelling. With her failing eyesight we will never get time to write a book but, these days, you can do anything with a computer and a microphone.”

Doreen’s own response was more muted, modestly wondering, “Perhaps I’ve been a little indiscreet.” However, in this picture she looks delighted too!

* Read Roy’s books in paperback from FeedARead.com, also on Amazon Kindle or through Waterstones.

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