TRIBUTE:Margaret will not be forgotten

Margaret is pictured with Robert and John on his wedding day to Kathleen on 5th September, 2014.
Margaret is pictured with Robert and John on his wedding day to Kathleen on 5th September, 2014.

Margaret Thompson February 1935 to July 2016

What’s the saying...? Behind every good man is an even greater woman. Well that was definitely the case for Bushmills historian Robert Thompson who recently said an emotional ‘goodbye’ to his wife Margaret.

Robert, who only weeks before had been shaking the hand of her Majesty the Queen at the unveiling of Robert Quigg’s statue, has paid tribute to his loving wife who sadly passed away on Wednesday, July 13.

Margaret Thompson was born on February 5 1935 at her Lisnagunogue family home in Bushmills to George and Minnie McCaughan. One of seven, Margaret was a middle child arriving between George, Archie, Billy, Betty, Mary and James. A farmer’s daughter, Margaret spent her youth working hard on the family farm.

Then in 1962, Margaret’s life changed when she attended a Bushmills Young Farmers Club event in the village hall and met her husband-to-be, local lad, Robert Thompson. The couple dated for three years before getting married in Lisnagunogue Church of Ireland on April 24, 1965.

Robert explained: “It was a simple wedding as Margaret never liked being centre of attention. She didn’t like fuss either. She was a real homebird and never like to go too far from home.”

The happy couple lived in Robert’s family home at 9 Riverside Road where Margaret continued to help her husband on the Bushmills farm. And in 1974, Robert and Margaret became the proud parents of their only son, John.

A keen historian, Robert’s love for WW1 developed during their early years of marriage which Margaret always supported and encouraged.

In 1975 Margaret started playing bowls with her husband and her love for sport continued on the television.

Son John said: “Mum loved to watch any kind of sport on the television tennis, snooker, football. Mum was a Manchester United fan and on a Saturday she would always be the first to tell you how the teams had done. She loved the soaps too and that was her time to sit down and relax.”

Always an early riser, Margaret was up at 6am and had the washing and ironing done and breakfast ready before the family woke.

However, it was Margaret love for baking that she will be remembered for most...especially her famous fruit loaf which was her own secret recipe.

“It was a staple diet in our house as we would have it twice weekly. Only Margaret had the secret recipe and no one could make it the same as her,” added Robert.

“She will be missed and so will her fruit loaf!”

Margaret (81) was buried on Saturday, July 16th at Ballywatt Presbyterian Church. Robert would like to say a huge thanks to the hundreds who came along, sent cards and offered their thoughts and sympathies at this difficult time.

Robert concluded: “The church was completely packed out up the middle and out the two sides. That just shows how much she was thought of and popular she was in the community.