Mair Pugh was born on the 16th December 1934 at Bryn Aber, South Road, Caernarfon. Being only about 2lbs in weight she was wrapped up in cotton wool until she was strong enough to survive. In the absence of a high dependency baby unit with modern incubators, her survival was nothing short of a miracle. Little did she know then that her first grandchild, Samantha would also pass though a similar experience.
Mair was the youngest daughter of Evan Pugh and Cissie Ann Pugh nee Evans. Evan had started his working life as a slate miner but at the time of Mair’s birth was employed as an Insurance Office Manager with Britannic Assurance.
In 1937 Evan’s work took him and the family away from Wales to Orrell near to Wigan in North West England. The then 3 year old Mair left Wales and needed to become fluent in a new language, English. At the age of 5, just 6 months after she had started school, they were on the move again, this time to Stoke-on-Trent to 50 Bailey Road, Heron Cross. After living here for a few years they moved for the last time to Brangwyn 13 Greatbach Avenue, Penkhull.
Mair had the benefit of private education at Eversley House in Basford despite her brother Oswald’s objected to this privilege, even though his parents had earlier also paid for him to attend St Joseph’s school. The availability of funds to pay for this schooling was an indication of Evan’s financial standing. However, money did not run to a bicycle and Mair was prevented from having one until she could rid. Never having the chance to rid one, her father chose not to buy one for her.
On leaving school Mair trained at The Elms College in Shelton for her highly prized NNEB qualification. With this under her belt, she worked as a nursery nurse at the Grove in Penkhull until after her marriage and the birth of her three children.
It was whilst living at home in Penkhull that Mair started to walk with her friend Mary Adams down “the bank” to Chamberlain Avenue’s Assembly Hall, the meeting place of the Church of God in Stoke on Trent. This was where she was to meet and later marry Joseph Stanley Sutton; Mary was to become her bridesmaid.
During her regular attendance at Sunday school and other church services at the assembly hall, Mair came to put her trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as her personal saviour. She was later baptised and added to the Church of God in Stoke, where she has faithfully worshipped since. No summary of Mair’s life would be complete with out a reference to her love for the Lord Jesus and this has been so evident in her life since. It has been the basis for the way her and her family life has been conducted.
Stan and Mair were married on 2nd March 1957 and moved into their new home, 853 London Road. The night before her wedding Mair was seemingly locked out of the house by her father Evan because she was late home by a few minutes.
Later that year on 4th December 1957 their first son Stephen John arrived.
The new family were soon to move to 39 Flash Lane, Trent Vale.
It was in this house that almost to the day two years later, on the 6th December 1959 their next child Christopher Neil arrived, life would never again be the same!
On June 29th 1960 the family was complete with the arrival of a daughter Jane
Elizabeth. She inherited two well established family names from Mair’s
side of the family.
The early family holidays were taken in North Wales at a house in Rhiwlas and trips to Bangor. They were also the annual trips to camp in Overstrand.
The boys started school at Oakhill infant school, before the family moved in 1966 to 89 Springfield Road, this house was close (but still a fair walk away) from the school all three children were to attend.
Mair possesses the rare talent of being able to tell stories to children as she makes them up in her mind. This talent was well rehearsed on the children as they grew. She has been encouraged by many, including her own children to write down her stories of Sally Ann and other such characters. To date not a word has been put to paper from this potential best selling children’s author. All three children were turned out regularly with newly hand knitted jumpers that Mair so adeptly completed.
The “new” van that had been purchased whilst living in Flash Lane and then hand painted green was the first family car. This was followed by a Ford Popular an Anglia and then numerous Hillman Hunters. These were the transport for the new family to travel about in. Although a day trip to Trentham Park for a picnic was completed with only four occupants in the car as Stephen had walked back home.
In the summer of 1969 the children had the treat of staying overnight with their Grandma, having surprise puddings in the back scullery in Greatbach Avenue and sleeping in big beds. This was so the pending house move to 45 Kennedy Road, Trentham could be completed which was to be the first house that Mair and Stan had owned. It was to be the family home for the next 8 years or so. It was just before the first Christmas in this new home that Cissie Ann; Grandma came to stay as she was very unwell. On the 23rd December 1969 she too passed away and was later buried alongside Evan in Pentir cemetery.
Family holiday were always taken in the UK including memorable times to Southsea. Jane got temporarily lost, Chris walked into a glass maze and Steve perfected his stone skimming technique. An out of character visit to the Bingo on the pier had to be curtailed as we kept winning.
Stephen had by now started at Trentham High School and the two younger children at Ash Green Primary school. The family remained in Kennedy Road until 1978 when they moved out to the country to the village of Fulford, Kingfisher Drive. This was around the time that Mair’s mother in law Annie Sutton nee Hankey was called home.
On leaving school Steve went to work as a heating and ventilation design engineer
in Stoke but redundancy forced him to look for work in London, before moving
to Derbyshire. In 1981 Stephen married Olwen Horne in Hanley and went to live
in Ilkeston. Chris had gone to work for Lloyds bank in Longton, then Fenton.
This enabled him to take Mair and Jane to work as Jane was by now working for
On the 27th August 1983 Mair’s father in law Charles Joseph Sutton was called home after a sudden heart complaint. This sad event was just weeks before Chris was to marry Rosemary Alford in Birmingham on 24th September.
On the 28th November 1985, came the addition of the first grandchild Samantha Louise, born to Steve and Olwen. Samantha is pictured here a few years later with her grandfather. Samantha, like her grandmother before her was born prematurely and needed to remain in hospital in Nottingham for a number of weeks.
In February 1988 the first grandson was born Benjamin Joseph in Birmingham to Chris and Rosemary. He was followed by a brother in March 1990, Nathan James. Nathan bears a noticeable resemblance to Evan Pugh in both looks and character.
Whilst all this had been going on Mair and Stan had moved house again, along with Jane, to 17 Sterndale Drive, Clayton. It was from here, a few months later in 1988 that Jane was married to Christopher Guy, they then went to live in Tunstall.
In November 1994 the final grandson Thomas John was born to Jane and Christopher. Thomas was very unwell for a number of months following his birth until he underwent some corrective surgery on his stomach. Thomas was joined by a sister in May 1997 Natalie who was the final grandchild (to date). The two youngest grandchildren are regular and very welcome visitors to entertain their grandparents.
Mair’s employment career had taken her from nursing at the Grove to various
schools around Stoke on Trent, including infant schools in Blurton and Longton.
There was also a period of employment at some stage with Newbold’s opticians
Stan’s varied career included a spell in nursing, door to door selling, glass blowing before finally joining Britannic Assurance as an agent. He was to work in the same office that Evan Pugh had managed until his retirement. Stan eventually retired from the company and his position of President of the Britannic Field Staff Association in 1996. Now with Stan as a Britannic pensioner the life long association that Mair has had with this company continues.
Mair celebrated her 70th birthday in the company of her close family in her home in Clayton in December 2004. The picture below was taken some 8 years earlier.