Getting to know - Margaret Spicer

1 Who are you? Margaret Spicer 2 What do you do? I m retired, if that is the right description of a housewife and carer of a learning disabled daughter for 48 years. 3 Why would people know you? I still live where I was born (the same address) in 1934 a

1 Who are you?

Margaret Spicer

2 What do you do?

I'm retired, if that is the right description of a housewife and carer of a learning disabled daughter for 48 years.

3 Why would people know you?

I still live where I was born (the same address) in 1934 and for almost 30 years I have been Outwell village correspondent for the Wisbech Standarl. I have also been a parish councillor for the same number of years. For more than 40 years I have been involved with fundraising for various charities for the learning disabled. Currently I am chairman of Downham Market Gateway Club and a committee member of Canopy House (we need new members). I am on various committees in King's Lynn, all for the learning disabled. I was poppy day organiser for Outwell for several years and a poppy seller for more than 25 years. I am actively involved with St Andrew's Methodist Church, Outwell.

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4 On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest) how do your rate your sense of humour?

A sense of humour is essential when you are under stress so I like to think mine rates about 9 because no-one is interested if you are miserable.

5 What was your last text message you sent or received?

That would be from my friend Pearl, when we "two wrinklies" (sorry Pearl) were discovering our mobiles. My reply was worse than her message.

6 Give us at least five pet hates.

Sir Alex Ferguson's gum chewing and discarding when the match is over, footballers who spit, people who litter our beautiful countryside, people who stare or poke fun at the disabled, the obscene amount of money paid each week to those who are supposed to be entertainers, people who are quick to criticise what you have done as an elected person (as a parish councillor) but slow to suggest or carry out suitable alternatives, negativity about almost anything British (negativity kills the spirit).

7 Is it time for Britain to abolish the Royal Family?

Certainly not. Britain without a monarchy is unthinkable. Just think about the alternative.

8 Are you looking forward to the smoking ban in pubs and why?

I can't wait for it to happen because I have very sensitive eyes and it will be a pleasure to have a meal and not spend half the time rubbing my eyes.

9 What is your favourite item of clothing in your wardrobe, and why?

It is a dress I wore for my daughter's wedding, but it has long since pushed to the back as my increased girth no longer allows me to wear it.

10 Where is the capital of the Fens and why?

Wisbech, of course. It always was and, as far as I am concerned, always will be. But it could do with a little more tender loving care, especially on the approach roads and the empty shops.

11 Which TV programme sends you to the off button?

Most modern reality shows, and anything with foul language and violence. At my age, I still like the Two Ronnies, but The Vicar of Dibley has now gone.

12 If you had £1,000 to blow what you would do with it?

£1,000 would come in very handy for two of my pet charities. Wisbech-based Canopy House fund, which has holiday accommodation for families with a learning disabled member, and Downham Market Gateway Club, for adults with learning disabilities so that they could go for another trip on the Norfolk Broads on the Southern Comfort paddle steamer.

13 What football result do you look for first and why?

Norwich City, so that I can tell my husband, who can then either cheer or cry into his beer.

14 Name a town or country you would never want to return to, and your reasons.

Can't think of anywhere as I have been grateful for any holiday or outings that I have been able to take.

15 Who would you most like to sit next to on an aeroplane and why?

Baroness Gillian Shephard of Northwold. My family holds her in great esteem for all her support when she was their MP. She fascinates me with her remarkable memory and her ability to make everyone feel at ease.

16 Who would you cross the road to avoid?

Anyone doing a survey and wielding a clipboard when I am in a hurry.

17 What is the worst job you have ever had to do?

Can't think of one really, but picking potatoes by hand in rain and mud so thick that when you lift your foot you leave your welly behind comes to mind.

18 Who was your childhood hero and why?

Don't know about childhood but in my teens Robert Mitchum. Ooh, those eyes.

19 If you weren't doing your current job, what else might you have chosen?

I've never really had a job. I trained as a shorthand typist many years ago but as my life has panned out I don't think there would have been a choice job-wise. I would have liked to have played the violin and at the moment I would quite like to tackle computers.

20 Your claim to fame.

As far as I am concerned it's being married to Colin for 51 years and being the proud mother of Julie and Alison. But I did once go to St James' Palace as a representative for King's Lynn Mentally Handicapped Society for the 25th anniversary of the National Society for Mentally Handicapped Children. I spoke with the late Queen Mother.

21 What's your biggest regret in life?

I have no regrets as to what I have done. Someone who needs to be cared for is a challenge and I think we as a family have been given the health and strength to rise to that challenge and have made very special friends on our journey through life.