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A Tribute to Audrey Pattison

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

Audrey Pattison, who died on 22th November 2023 aged 95 years, leaves her son Martin with wife Carol and, daughter Helen Carter and family.  Audrey’s funeral was held at the South Leicestershire Crematorium on 6 December. 

Audrey’s athletic prowess showed itself very early in life.  As a student at Jonathan North Girls School she was awarded the coveted role of Head Girl.  However, she didn't always set the best example.  On one occasion a ball landed on the roof of the school and instead of seeking help she somehow managed to climb onto the roof of the building to retrieve it. The headmaster saw her and was not impressed, severely reprimanding her and nearly removing her title of Head Girl.

Her athleticism manifested itself more positively in other ways, for example, she represented the school in County Swimming and diving competitions.  She also excelled as a cyclist in her youth.  She thought nothing of riding to the seaside, with Skeggy a popular destination for Ratae members at the time.

Always fiercely competitive she raced in the Isle of Man 25 and was really annoyed when Millie Robinson posted a faster time.  However, Millie did win the first ever Ladies Tour de France and held the Ladies Hour World Record, so Audrey was up against some stiff competition.

She had to fit her cycling in with her full time work as a seamstress which she took up after leaving school and even found time to create a wedding dress for her neighbour’s daughter.

Marriage to Colin in 1950 was a natural step as they shared a love of cycling, but their married life was not without incident.  One dark winter night they heard a noise in the middle of the night and saw someone trying to break in through the patio doors. On being discovered the intruder ran off and Colin bravely chased after him.  Colin grabbed one of the many bikes in the garage and gave chase.  Meanwhile the police were interviewing Audrey.

"Can you tell me what happened?""Colin went after a lad who was trying to break into the back of the house. He saw us and ran off down the road""Great. Can you give me a description""Yes, he's got grey hair, wearing pyjamas and is riding a ladies bicycle!"

As the years rolled on Audrey did less riding, but enjoyed going on the Wednesday runs with Janice Bentley while Curly (Colin) was out with the men’s group to venues like Margaret’s famous ‘café’ at Redmile in the Vale of Belvoir.

In her later years Audrey was a regular on the ‘Norman Yeadon’ walks until problems with her legs made walking difficult.  However, her cycling skills became useful again enabling her to ride to the local shops.

She was always friendly and cheerful even when she was not in the best of health and enjoyed hosting regular and convivial social evenings at her house. 

Contributions were provided by Martin Pattison and Helen Carter, Sadie Garratt, and Janice Bentley. 

They were edited into this tribute by Kevin Commons – 15 December 2023.


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